The First Two Pages Of Frankenstein mark the emergence of a new era for the Cincinnati, Ohio natives.
The National has revealed the details of their upcoming ninth studio album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. The album, slated for release on April 28, 2023 through 4AD / Remote Control Records, promises to showcase evocative melodies and an engaging lyrical narrative.
The album features guest appearances by Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens, and was produced by the band at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York.
After two back-to-back albums and several busy years of touring, First Two Pages of Frankenstein was initially stalled while lead singer Matt 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.” Instead, The National “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 for the band,” according to guitarist/pianist Bryce Dessner, whose bandmates also include his brother Aaron (guitar/piano/bass) as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).
Aaron Dessner shares that the power of the record “has to do with the intentionality and structure of the music meeting with a lot of accidental magic,”
The National has also shared the first single off the album, the quietly pulsing upbeat ‘Tropic Morning News.’ Partly recorded live in Hamburg, the track was co-written with Berninger’s wife Carin Besser, Tropic Morning News delves into the painful pitfalls of distraction that come with habitual doomscrolling, taking its title from a phrase Besser invented “The idea of referring to the darkness of the news in such a light way unlocked something in me,”
Berninger shares “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.”
Tracks such as Grease in Your Hair and Ice Machines were road-tested in 2022 before they were recorded, allowing the band to hone the material in real-time (another song, Weird Goodbyes featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, was released as a standalone track last August).
Pre Order / Pre Save First Two Pages Of Frankenstein.
1. Once Upon A Poolside (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
3. New Order T-Shirt
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