The National Confront Insecurities on New Song ‘Somebody Desperate’

The National have released a new song, “Somebody Desperate.” The track appears over the closing credits of upcoming Peter Dinklage musical film Cyrano. Listen here.

The film, directed by Joe Wright, is adaptation of a stage musical written by Dinklage’s wife Erica Schmidt. The music for both the play and the movie was composed by The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, with lyrics by frontman Matt Berninger and his wife Carin Besser.

“Somebody Desperate” was initially written for one of the characters, but got put on the back burner when the musicians realized they already had enough songs for the film.

“It didn’t feel like the film itself needed this song in the narrative, but it captured an overall perspective on the whole thing, and it could have been written about any of the three main characters,” Berninger told NME of writing the song. “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 pretenses to cover up those insecurities.”

Cyrano, which also stars Haley Bennett and Kelvin Harrison, Jr., is in theaters Dec. 31. The film’s soundtrack, which features the cast singing and Glen Hansard along with music from the London Symphony Orchestra and pianist Vikingur Ólafsson, arrives on Dec. 10 via Decca.

Berninger told Rolling Stone about the process of writing for each of the characters in the film in an interview in 2019. “I think they are all lost in themselves,” he said. “They’re all lost in their own images of themselves, and they’re unable to see anyone else as honestly as who they really are because they’re not being honest with themselves. I think that, for me, was what I was always writing about.”