Apartment Story

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"Apartment Story"
Apartment Story (The National single - cover art).jpg
Single by The National
from the album Boxer
Released November 5, 2007
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded Tarquin Studios
Genre Indie rock, post-punk revival
Length 3:34
Label Beggars Banquet Records
Songwriter(s) Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner
Producer(s) Peter Katis and The National
The National singles chronology
"Mistaken for Strangers"
"Apartment Story"
"Fake Empire"
"Mistaken for Strangers"
"Apartment Story"
"Fake Empire"
Boxer track listing
"Slow Show"
"Apartment Story"
"Start a War"

"Apartment Story" is a song by Brooklyn-based indie rock band The National from their fourth studio album, Boxer. The song was released on November 5, 2007 as the album's second single.[1] The single's B-side is "Mansion on the Hill," originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen on his 1982 album Nebraska. The band's cover version was recorded live on January 14, 2006 at the opening night of that year's New York Guitar Festival.[1][2]

The band performed "Apartment Story" at MTV's Times Square studio on May 19, 2007 as part of the channel's Human Giant 24-hour marathon special.[3][4] The band also performed the song on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on September 26, 2007.[5]

In November 2007, Q featured "Apartment Story" in their list of 50 Essential Downloads.[6] A month later, the song ranked #5 on Gigwise's "Top 50 Singles of 2007" list.[7]


"Apartment Story" received generally positive reviews by music critics. Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield said of the song, "[W]hen [Matt] Berninger murmurs, 'We'll stay inside till somebody finds us,' it's both romantic and terrifying, and the drums kick it all the way home."[8] Jamie Harper of MusicOMH described the song as "moody but beautiful. Laced with melody, but understated."[9] Tom Milway of Drowned in Sound said it "hits the listener with another distinctive and expertly performed drum line courtesy of Bryan Devendorf," and called the song "another radio-friendly slice of The National."[10]

On the other hand, David Moore of Gigwise.com said that "after about ten plays it creates a personality for itself and you start to get it, but ten times is a lot." He added that the song "works much better inside the album than it does a stand alone track." However, Moore did note that as an introduction to the band, "it's a perfect place to start."[11]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Apartment Story" was directed by Banner Gwin, and was released in September 2007. Filmed in the basement of a church a few blocks from Berninger's Brooklyn apartment, the video features the band's friends and family as extras.[12] Berninger said the band "wanted to capture the sweet but awkward vibe of a wedding reception or singles mixer." He described the video as "something between John Hughes and Krzysztof Kieslowski."[12]

The video is reminiscent of the Boxer cover photo, which depicts the band performing at producer Peter Katis's wedding.[13] "Apartment Story" ranked #14 on Stereogum's "50 Best Videos of 2007" list.[14]

Track listing[edit]

UK 7" vinyl (BBQ 407)
  1. "Apartment Story" – 3:44
  2. "Mansion on the Hill" (Live) – 4:36


  1. ^ a b "The National Cover Springsteen on New Single". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 4 August 2009. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "2006 NYGF Launches with Springsteen Tribute". New York Guitar Festival. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "The National @ The Human Giant MTV Marathon 5/19/07". Stereogum. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "24 Hours Of Human Giant Live Performances". MTV. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  5. ^ ""The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" Episode dated 26 September 2007". IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "The 50 Essential Tracks To Download This Month". Q. London: Bauer (November 2007). Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Gigwise's Top 50 Singles Of 2007!". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "Boxer Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "The National - "Apartment Story" - Track Review". MusicOMH. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "Review - The National - "Apartment Story"". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "The National - "Apartment Story"". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Video Premiere: The National, "Apartment Story"". Spinner.com. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "The National's Berninger Talks Boxer, Baseball, CYHSY". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 4 August 2009. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Gummy Awards: Best Video of 2007". Stereogum. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 

External links[edit]