The National
The National | Photo by Josh Goleman

The National Announce New Album Featuring Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens

The National have announced their ninth studio album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. The follow-up to 2019’s I Am Easy to Find will arrive on Friday, 28th April via 4AD and will feature guest appearances from Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens.

The band have also shared its first single, a relatively energetic cut titled ‘Tropic Morning News.’ Co-written by frontman Matt Berninger with his wife, Carin Besser, Berninger describes it as “about having a hard time expressing yourself, and trying to connect with someone when the noise of the world is drowning out any potential for conversation.”

Listen to The National’s New Song ‘Tropic Morning News’

First Two Pages of Frankenstein was produced by The National themselves at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York. The project initially stalled while Berninger navigated “a very dark spot where [he] couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all.” He said: “Even though we’d always been anxious whenever we were working on a record, this was the first time it ever felt like maybe things really had come to an end.”

Instead, according to guitarist Bryce Dessner, the band “managed to come back together and approach everything from a different angle, and because of that we arrived at what feels like a new era.” His brother, guitarist Aaron Dessner added: “To me the power of this record has to do with the intentionality and structure of the music meeting with a lot of accidental magic.”

See the tracklist for First Two Pages of Frankenstein below. Bridgers features on two songs, one called ‘This Isn’t Helping’ and another titled ‘Your Mind Is Not Your Friend’. Stevens features on opening track ‘Once Upon a Poolside,’ while Swift is on a song called ‘The Alcott.’

The National – First Two Pages of Frankenstein

  1. ‘Once Upon A Poolside’ (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
  2. ‘Eucalyptus’
  3. ‘New Order T-Shirt’
  4. ‘This Isn’t Helping’ (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
  5. ‘Tropic Morning News’
  6. ‘Alien’
  7. ‘The Alcott’ (feat. Taylor Swift)
  8. ‘Grease In Your Hair’
  9. ‘Ice Machines’
  10. ‘Your Mind Is Not Your Friend’ (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
  11. ‘Send For Me’

Further Reading

The National Recruit Bon Iver For New Single, ‘Weird Goodbyes’

Taylor Swift Says The National Is Her Favourite Band

The National’s Matt Berninger & Phoebe Bridgers Collaborate For Track In ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’

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