The National
The National | Image: Josh Goleman

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

US indie-rock outfit The National have teamed up with Bon Iver for their latest single, ‘Weird Goodbyes’. The new single is the band’s first standalone release since their 2019 album, I Am Easy To Find.

Working alongside the London Contemporary Orchestra, the new single features more drum machines than is typical for The National, while the vocals of Matt Berninger seamlessly merge with those of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. “It’s about letting go of the past and moving on, then later being overwhelmed by second thoughts,” Berninger said of the song.

The National – ‘Weird Goodbyes (feat. Bon Iver)’

“‘Weird Goodbyes’ was one of the first new songs we made,” explained guitarist and producer Aaron Dessner. “I was misusing drum machines, as usual, and stumbled onto this beat that got stuck in my head – it felt like something only Bryan [Devendorf] could naturally play.

“We built the song around the beat. Matt’s melody and words felt so elegant and moving from the beginning – mourning a loss of innocence and motivation, holding onto memories and feelings that inevitably slip away and the grief we all suffer in weird goodbyes.”

The members of The National have a long-standing friendship with Bon Iver. Dessner and Vernon co-founded the band Big Red Machine in 2018, releasing their latest album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, in 2021. Dessner said the ‘Weird Goodbyes’ collaboration came about due to the song perfectly aligning with the musical ethos of Vernon.

“I somehow could hear our friend Justin’s voice and heart in this song from the beginning,” he explains. “We sent it to him and it moved him – he then sang with Matt so powerfully.”

The National were due to visit Australia in 2020 before the tour was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, Bon Iver had planned an Australian return for 2020 in support of 2019’s i,i, but it too was cancelled.

Further Reading

Listen To Japanese Breakfast Cover A Bon Iver Classic

Love Letter To A Record: Maison Hall On The National’s ‘High Violet’

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Joins TikTok, Says It’s “Worth Checking Out”

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