For the first time in four years, Brooklyn rock band The National have returned with new music. First Two Pages of Frankenstein, the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2019 record I Am Easy To Find, will arrive on April 28 via 4AD. The record will be the National’s ninth studio album since their self-titled debut in 2001 and will feature guest appearances from Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift. First Two Pages of Frankenstein serves as the band’s first new music since their 2021 single “Weird Goodbyes,” which featured vocals from Bon Iver.
The first single teased from First Two Pages of Frankenstein, “Tropic Morning News,” points to the National taking an upbeat direction akin to their 2013 project Trouble Will Find Me. With glittering guitars, atmospheric synths and Matt Berninger’s sprawling vocals, “Tropic Morning News” is an amalgamation of everything that makes a perfect National song work: fine-tuned arrangements, contemplative yet vulnerable lyrics from Berninger and a great, soul-awakening Aaron Dessner guitar part. “Tropic Morning News” was co-written by Berninger’s wife Carin Besser and the track contemplates how to speak openly about depression. “I was suffering more than I let on / The tropic morning news was on / There’s nothing stopping me now / From saying all the painful parts out loud,” Berninger sings in the last chorus.
“When Matt came in with that song in the depths of his depression, it felt like a turning point for us,” Dessner said in a statement. “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.”
Listen to “Tropic Morning News” here: