Rock band The National have announced their ninth studio album. Titled First Two Pages of Frankenstein, it is set to arrive April 28 and features guest contributions from Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens.
Along with the news of an upcoming LP, the band has shared the lead single from the record. It's called “Tropic Morning News,” and was co-written with lead singer Matt Berninger’s wife, Carin Besser. According to a press release, Matt Berninger had been struggling against severe depression which resulted in writer’s block, and “Tropic Morning News” was the turning point for continuing the band's work on First Two Pages of Frankenstein.
“When Matt came in with that song in the depths of his depression, it felt like a turning point for us,” said 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.”
First Two Pages of Frankenstein follows the National’s 2019 album, I Am Easy to Find. The LP features 11 songs and was recorded in upstate New York. In a statement on the new music, Berninger wrote, “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,” with guitarist Bryce Dessner adding 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.”
Additionally, The National will embark on a tour in support of First Two Pages of Frankenstein starting this May, with openers Patti Smith, Soccer Mommy, the Beths, and Bartees Strange. The band will play in venues across North America until September, when they will travel to Europe for shows. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 27 at 10am local time to the general public, except for the Madison Square Garden show – those tickets go on sale Friday, January 27 at 12pm ET. More information can be found on the band's website.
Since releasing I Am Easy to Find, The National collaborated with Bon Iver and the London Contemporary Orchestra on the track “Weird Goodbyes” and made an appearance on Taylor Swift’s 2020 album folklore. Berninger also sang on the evermore duet “Coney Island.”
Listen to "Tropic Morning News" below.
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