The National have announced their ninth studio album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which will be released on April 28 via 4AD. The 11-track LP was produced by the band at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York and features guest appearances by Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens. Lead single ‘Tropic Morning News’, out today, was co-written with lead singer Matt Berninger’s wife, Carin Besser, and partly recorded live in Hamburg. Check it out below and scroll down for the album’s cover art, tracklist, and the National’s upcoming tour dates.
Work on the new album, which follows 2019’s I Am Easy to Find, initially stalled as Berninger navigated “a very dark spot where I couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all. 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.” The band eventually “managed to come back together and approach everything from a different angle,” according to guitarist Bryce Dessner, “and because of that we arrived at what feels like a new era for the band.”
Speaking about ‘Tropic Morning News’, Aaron Dessner said in a statement: “When Matt came in with that song in the depths of his depression, it felt like a turning point for us. It’s almost Dylan-esque in its lyrics and it’s so much fun to play; everything suddenly felt like it was coming alive again.”
“The idea of referring to the darkness of the news in such a light way unlocked something in me,” Berninger added. “It became a song 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.”
Last year, the National collaborated with Bon Iver and the London Contemporary Orchestra on the song ‘Weird Goodbyes’.
First Two Pages of Frankenstein Cover Artwork:
First Two Pages of Frankenstein Tracklist:
1. Once Upon a Poolside [fet. Sufjan Stevens]
3. New Order T-Shirt
4. This Isn’t Helping [feat. Phoebe Bridgers]
5. Tropic Morning News
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
The National 2023 Tour Dates:
May 20 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre %
May 21 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre %
May 24 – Washington, DC – The Anthem %
May 26 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling Festival
May 28 – Napa, CA – Bottlerock Festival
May 30 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre %
Jun 2 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield %
Jun 3 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield %
Jun 4 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park %
Jun 5 – Burnaby, BC, Canada – Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park %
Aug 1 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia !
Aug 3 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl !
Aug 7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit !
Aug 8 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee !
Aug 9 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory !
Aug 11 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom !
Aug 15 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater !
Aug 16 – Atlanta, GA – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park !
Aug 18 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden with very special guest Patti Smith and her band
Sept 21 – Dublin, IRE – 3 Arena %
Sep 23 – Leeds, UK – First Direct Arena %
Sep 24 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro Arena %
Sep 26 – London, UK – Alexandra Palace %
Sep 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggo Dome ^
Sep 30 – Berlin, DE – Max-Schmeling-Halle ^
Oct 1 – Munich, DE – Zenith ^
Oct 4 – Madrid, ES – WiZink Center ^
Oct 5 – Porto, PT – Super Bock Arena ^
Oct 6 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^
% with Soccer Mommy
! with the Beths
^ Bartees Strange