I Need My Girl

Album: Trouble Will Find Me (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was born of the free time Aaron Dessner had to experiment with guitar sketches in his garage studio after the birth of his daughter. He told NME: "I almost didn't send this to Matt (Berninger, vocals) as it was something I did quickly - it's simple, but he loves that kind of thing. There's something very heartfelt about it."
  • Trouble Will Find Me is The National's least cryptic album to date and this straightforward lament for the support of a partner is a case in point. Berninger told NME that for once on this song he "doesn't hide behind some grand metaphor." He added: "It's just a song about missing your wife, girlfriend, whoever."
  • The song was released as the fifth single from Trouble Will Find Me. It featured a bonus track "Learning," which is a cover of Perfume Genius' 2010 tune.
  • The music video was directed by Brooklyn-based visual artist Sophia Peer whose previous work includes the clips for The National's "Graceless" and "Sea Of Love."
  • Berninger explained to Under the Radar the meaning of the line, 'I know I was the 45% of then': "It was, I think, about not totally being there for somebody. It's probably about my wife, and I was gone so much. We've been together for 10 years, and a lot of that time I've been touring. It was probably shades of not being present enough as a father and a husband, and I think that's what that's about, when you're only halfway there. Or not even halfway. Luckily, my wife has been very patient with this band and me, and we've made it work. But I think I have a little bit of guilt about being so distant so often, because the band has swallowed so much of my life up - in a great way. I'm grateful for it, but there are other things that suffer. That was just a little bit of an acknowledgment of that and probably a bit of an apology." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The National performed this on Saturday Night Live in 2014, in an episode hosted by Lena Dunham.

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