The National frontman Matt Berninger wrote ‘Somebody Desperate’ about “someone confronting their own insecurities”.
The quintet’s new single – which appears in the end credits of the new film adaptation of ‘Cyrano’ – deals lyrically with honesty, and while the words intertwine with the film’s plot, he also drew on a lot of personal experience.
Matt told NME: “It’s a song about someone being honest about not being honest with themselves, and about not being honest with other people.
“It’s someone confronting their own insecurities, and how they put on false pretences to cover up those insecurities.”
He explained how he was able to channel his “own insecurities” and emotions, and combine them with the story itself when it came to the soundtrack as a whole, which saw him and his wife Carin Besser pen lyrics to music from The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner.
He added: “I was writing a lot from my own perspective and bringing my own insecurities and my own feelings to the story.
“It’s easy to channel what these characters are going through, because we all have these deep insecurities when it comes to our hearts, and I’ve written about this stuff forever.”
The new adaptation is based on the play ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, which is in turn a fictionalised account of the poet of the same name, and it stars Peter Dinklage in the titular role.
Reflecting on his connection with the characters, Matt said: “I was really enthusiastic about it when Erica Schmidt [Dinklage’s wife and Cyrano script-writer] first approached us.
“It did feel in my wheelhouse, with all these romantically insecure characters where I could write about love and desire and fear.
“I grew up feeling like a little awkward teenager, and the story of somebody wooing someone they’re infatuated with through songs obviously really resonated with me. It’s a way to package their messy feelings into something beautiful.”