The National became one of the most celebrated indie rock bands of the 2000s, after critical acclaim with records like 2005's Alligator before reaching the Top 10 for the first time with High Violet. The band formed in 1999 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and released a self-titled debut album two years later. The National collaborated with producers Paul Heck and Peter Katis on the band's second album, 2003's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, and reprised that partnership with 2005's Alligator. Full of sweeping anthems, Alligator earned comparisons to artists like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. The cinematic storytelling of 2007's Boxer continued the momentum, while 2010's High Violet reached Number 3 in the US and Number 5 in the UK. High Violet was also named "Album of the Year "at the Q Awards. Trouble Will Find Me followed in 2013, reaching Number 3 on the UK, US, and Canadian charts while also earning a Grammy nomination for "Best Alternative Album." 2017's Sleep Well Beast featured "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness," which reached Number 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart. Following 2019's I Am Easy to Find, band member Aaron Dessner collaborated with Taylor Swift on Folklore and Evermore, the latter of which featured an appearance by The National. Swift returned the favor by appearing on "The Alcott," a Top 20 single from the band's 2023 record, First Two Pages of Frankenstein.