It’s very rare on my frenzied and uncomfortable subway rides these days (though I’m sure I’ll be missing them as much as everything else about this trip when I go back home next week) that I have time to truly enjoy the music I’m listening to. More often than not, it just serves as background noise so I can forget that I’m on a crowded train with a hundred other people that I don’t know and I don’t want to make eye contact with. Yesterday, I was on one of those lovely moments when hardly anyone else is on the train and I could really enjoy myself (well as much as you can enjoy a train ride). “Abel” by the National (off their breakthrough album Alligator) came on my iPod and it’s one of those songs that just grows on you more and more after every listen. My favorite the National album is probably Boxer, but damn, if “Abel” isn’t just one of those songs that once you play it once, you have to hear it about four or five more times in a row before you’re finally satisfied. Matt Berninger’s sudden shift from an Ian Curtis baritone to a full-throated punk rock scream is just a force of nature in and of itself, and the song is just catchy as fucking hell. I literally listened to it six times in a row on the subway yesterday and it’s the obvious choice for today’s song of the day.


For those wanting to hear May’s song of the day playlist, you can find it here on Spotify. If you’re interested in a broader selection of tunes, you can find the whole playlist for 2012 here.