Taylor Swift Joins the National on New Song ‘The Alcott’

    The National have released their latest album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which includes a new collaboration with Taylor Swift called ‘The Alcott’. Listen to the track below.

    “Matt wrote the main part of the song to some music I had written which Taylor had heard and I knew liked, so I thought it might be something she would really click with,” the band’s Aaron Dessner recalled in press materials. “I sent it to her, and was a little nervous as I didn’t hear back for 20 minutes or so. By the time she responded, Taylor had written all her parts and recorded a voice memo with the lyrics she’d added in a dialogue with Matt, and everyone fell immediately in love with it. It felt meant to be.”

    “It’s about two people with a long history returning to a place and trying to relive a certain moment in time,” Matt Berninger explained. “It’s got the feeling of a last-ditch effort to hold onto the relationship, but there’s a hint of something positive where you can see the beginnings of a reconnection.” He added in an interview Hanuman Welch on Alt Ctrl Radio on Apple Music 1:

    Well, I met Taylor a long time ago, and a long time ago we knew Taylor was a fan, and, eventually, we got to know her a little better. And then her work with Aaron was so brilliant, and I know that she was really, you know, interested in the writing process and how Carin [Besser] and I collaborate.

    And, so, when the song “The Alcott,” I wrote that, and it very much is a perspective of one person coming to try to reconnect with another person in a space, in a room, like, in a hotel bar. And I had written all that side of it, and Aaron sent it to Taylor right away. And I think she jumped right into sort of, like, the role of the other voice, the other perspective. And I was writing about my wife, but, you know, it sets a scene of a person with a notebook writing in a bar basically. And she knew exactly, you know, she fit right into that spot and she knows.

    So when it came back and all of a sudden this song I’d written suddenly has the other viewpoint, or the other perspective added to it by one of the greatest songwriters of all time. My wife was blown away. It was great. It was such a fun, exciting thing, and it just made that song so much more beautiful and so much more dimensional. And, yeah, so, yeah, we’ve always had an open door and people come in, and we’ve been so lucky to have so many incredibly brilliant, wonderful, and collaborative and fun people working with us for so long. And, yeah, it was just really, really delightful and exciting.

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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