The National Share Announce New Album Featuring Taylor Swift, Share New Song “Tropic Morning News”

Jan 18, 2023

By Mark Redfern

Photography by Josh Goleman


The National have announced a new album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, that features Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjans Stevens, and shared its first single, “Tropic Morning News.” They have also announced some tour dates. First Two Pages of Frankenstein is due out April 28 via 4AD. Check out “Tropic Morning News” below, followed by the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as the tour dates.

The National’s previous album, I Am Easy to Find, came out in 2019 via 4AD. Last year the band shared a new single, “Weird Goodbyes,” which was a collaboration with Bon Iver (the project led by Justin Vernon) but is not featured on the new album.

In a press release, lead singer Matt Berninger says that after I Am Easy to Find he found himself in “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 National’s guitarist/pianist Bryce Dessner says that 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 for the band.”

The band also features Bryce’s brother Aaron Dessner (guitar/piano/bass), as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

“Tropic Morning News” was partly recorded live in Hamburg. “When Matt came in with that song in the depths of his depression, it felt like a turning point for us,” says Aaron Dessner. “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.”

Berninger co-wrote the song with his wife Carin Besser and the press release says it “takes its title from a phrase Besser invented to describe the regrettably routine practice of doomscrolling.”

Berninger adds: “The idea of referring to the darkness of the news in such a light way unlocked something in me. 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.”

Summing up First Two Pages of Frankenstein as a whole, Aaron Dessner says: “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.”

First Two Pages of Frankenstein Tracklist:

01 Once Upon a Poolside (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
02 Eucalyptus
03 New Order T-Shirt
04 This Isn’t Helping (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
05 Tropic Morning News
06 Alien
07 The Alcott [ft. Taylor Swift]
08 Grease in Your Hair
09 Ice Machines
10 Your Mind Is Not Your Friend (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
11 Send for Me

The National Tour Dates:

U.S.:

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 *
June 2 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield *
June 3 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield *
June 4 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park *
June 5 – Burnaby, BC, Canada – Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park *
August 1 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia ~
August 3 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl ~
August 7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit ~
August 8 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee ~
August 9 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory ~
August 11 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom ~
August 15 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater ~
August 16 – Atlanta, GA – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park ~
August 18 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden with very special guest Patti Smith and her band

UK/EU:

September 21 – Dublin, IRE – 3 Arena *
September 23 – Leeds, UK – First Direct Arena *
September 24 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro Arena *
September 26 – London, UK – Alexandra Palace *
September 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggo Dome ^
September 30 – Berlin, DE – Max-Schmeling-Halle ^
October 1 – Munich, DE – Zenith ^
October 4 – Madrid, ES – WiZink Center ^
October 5 – Porto, PT – Super Bock Arena ^
October 6 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^

Support:

*Soccer Mommy
~The Beths
^ Bartees Strange

Read our 2018 interview with The National.

Read our 2017 interview with The National on Sleep Well Beast.

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