By and large most pop songs are about love and relationships. Failed, succeeding, new, old, cherished, regretted. The second most drafted topic, I would argue, is about inner turmoil, ruminations on depression and insecurity. The National is so skilled at marrying those topics, touching on the intertwined knot between desire and self-doubt. It’s an interesting confluence, where the need for someone else kicks in during a bout of shrinking self-confidence, and this song gets it perfect. This performance is particularly beautiful, it seems carefully augmented from the recorded version but only just enough to give some climax and tension. Mournful horns, muffled kick, and Matt Berninger’s somber baritone are a forlorn trio, bringing strength and space to a sad, honest refrain. What I love about this song is how contained it is, how focused…the structure is so simple, leaving little room for misinterpretation: sometimes you are good and grounded, so it seems, and inside, you’re shrinking, so sometimes, you need your girl.

“I am good, I am grounded
Davy says that I look taller
I can’t get my head around it
I keep feeling smaller and smaller
I need my girl

I need my girl

Remember when you lost your shit and
Drove the car into the garden
And you got out and said I’m sorry
To the vines and no one saw it

I need my girl
I need my girl

I’m under the gun again
I know I was the 45 percent of then
I know I was a lot of things
But I am good, I am grounded
Davy says that I look taller
I can’t get my head around it
I keep feeling smaller and smaller
I need my girl
I need my girl

There’s some things that I should never
Laugh about in front of family
In a week we’ll be together
Try to call you when I’m landed
I need my girl
I need my girl

Remember when you said I’m sorry
To the vines and no one saw it
I’ll try to call you from the party
It’s full of punks and cannonballers

I need my girl
I need my girl

I’m under the gun again
I know I was the 45 percent of then
I know I was a lot of things
But I am good, I am grounded

Davy says that I look taller
I can’t get my head around it
I keep feeling smaller and smaller
I need my girl

I keep feeling smaller and smaller
I need my girl
I keep feeling smaller and smaller.”

~I Need My Girl 
The National, Trouble Will Find Me