<p>As frontman for the popular indie act The National, singer/songwriter Matt Berninger was a key component in the band's moody chamber pop sound, which drew critical and fan raves for such hit...
Alligator is first album for new label, Beggars Banquet
Their song "Fake Empire" is featured in Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign
Forms the band Nancy with Scott Devendorf
Records "Rains of Castamere" for "Game of Thrones"
First album, The National
Sophomore record, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
Reteams with Devendorf for The National
Grammy nomination for Trouble Will Find Me
Berninger featured in the documentary "Mistaken for Strangers"
High Violet debuts at No. 3 on album charts
<p>As frontman for the popular indie act The National, singer/songwriter Matt Berninger was a key component in the band's moody chamber pop sound, which drew critical and fan raves for such hit albums as <i>High Violet</i> (2012) and <i>Trouble Will Find Me</i> (2013). Berninger's baritone voice -- which suggested the deep, resonant vocals of singers like Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave -- and pensive lyrics fueled The National's Americana-flecked music, which rose from the indie scene in the early 2000s to the top of the popular music charts within a decade. Berninger's voice and lyrics also cultivated a persona of detached cool that was punctured by the 2013 documentary "Mistaken for Strangers," in which he tangled verbally throughout a 2010 with his more easy-going if hapless brother, Tom, who also directed. Berninger's artful songwriting and memorable voice helped to underscore The National's status as one of the most successful bands on the American indie scene in the 2010s and beyond. </p><p>Born February 13, 1971 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Matt Berninger attended St. Xaiver High School, where he played in the school band. After graduation, he studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati, where he met Scott Devendorf. The pair soon formed a band called Nancy, with Berninger serving as vocalist and Devendorf as bassist. The five-piece group recorded a single record, <i>Ruther 3429</i>, before splitting after Berninger and Devendorf relocated to Brooklyn, New York. There, they joined forces with Devendorf's brother, Bryan, and siblings Bryce and Aaron Dessner, in 1999 to form The National. The group began regular free shows at the Luna Lounge, a club on the Lower East Side, which helped them to build a fanbase. An eponymous album, released on the Dessners' own label, Brassland Records, earned them critical praise, but the group's true breakthrough came after they signed with Beggars Banquet Records to release their third album, <i>Alligator</i>, in 2005. </p><p>By the time of their fourth album, <i>Boxer</i> (2007), The National had risen to the top of the indie music scene. Their music was featured on numerous television series, as well as Barack Obama's campaign video "Signs for Hope and Change" in 2008. A tour with R.E.M. exposed them to a wider audience, and spurred a documentary film, "A Skin, a Night" (2008). Two years later, the National released their fifth album, <i>High Violet</i>, which debuted at No. 3 on the <i>Billboard</i> 200. After recording the song "The Rains of Castamere" for the second season finale of "Game of Thrones" (HBO, 2011- ) in 2012, The National earned a Grammy nomination and scored a second Top 5 album with their sixth release, <i>Trouble Will Find Me</i> (2013). The group also had a cameo in an episode of "The Mindy Project" (Fox 2012- ), playing themselves in an episode set at a music festival. Berninger was front and center in the amusing documentary "Mistaken for Strangers" (2013), which focused on the tumultuous relationship between the singer and his brother Tom, who also served as the film's director. </p>