Terrible Love

Album: High Violet (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • The National is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band who comprise lead singer Matt Berninger and two pairs of brothers: Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Scott and Bryan Devendorf. This is the opening track from their fifth album, High Violet.
  • This song's sound is typical of the much denser and heavier instrumentation on High Violet compared to what the National has done previously. Aaron Dessner explained to The Quietus: "'Loose wool' is 'Terrible Love.' I remember Bryce saying, 'Ok, what does loose wool sound like?' and Matt went, 'bam-bam-bam' [makes much more sense audibly] so then I created this effect and turned the amp up beyond loud, tuned the guitar down and just had these harmonic pedals on that make it sound weird. I was strumming simple chords – the chord progression is like a Bon Jovi progression, like G, C – but because of the weird effect it doesn't sound like it. So we ran with that idea and a lot of the songs have a similar texture."
  • In an interview with Spinner UK, the comment was made that the lyrics of High Violet seem despairing and paranoid. Berninger responded: "There is a lot of mental chaos and the character is overwhelmed a lot. 'Terrible Love,' it isn't necessarily so bad, it's just about being overwhelmed by this emotion of love, whatever that is, or if you did something wrong to someone you love. There's a lot of stress and anxiety on there."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Queen

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Keith Reid of Procol Harum

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?