The National Share Lyric Video for Taylor Swift Collaboration “The Alcott” (+ Stream the New Album) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, March 4th, 2024  

The National Share Lyric Video for Taylor Swift Collaboration “The Alcott” (+ Stream the New Album)

First Two Pages of Frankenstein Out Today via 4AD; Watch Them Perform “Eucalyptus” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Apr 28, 2023 Photography by Josh Goleman
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The National have released a new album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, today via 4AD. Now they have shared a lyric video for album’s biggest collaboration, “The Alcott,” which is a duet with Taylor Swift. Last night they also performed the album’s third single, “Eucalyptus,” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Plus you can stream the whole album here and read our review of it. Michael Brown directed and edited the lyric video for “The Alcott,” which features footage of the band and Swift recording the song in the studio. Watch it below, followed by the Fallon performance and the full album stream. Read our review review of the album, which we posted yesterday, here.

The band features frontman Matt Berninger, as well as two sets of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar/piano/bass) and Bryce Dessner (piano, guitar), and Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

Aaron Dessner had this to say about “The Alcott” in a press release: “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. 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.”

Berninger had this to add about the song: “It’s about two people with a long history returning to a place and trying to relive a certain moment in time. 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.”

Previously the band shared First Two Pages of Frankenstein’s first single, “Tropic Morning News,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. Then The National shared the album’s second single, “New Order T-Shirt,” and also started selling a joint National/New Order T-shirt. “New Order T-Shirt” also made our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared its third single, “Eucalyptus,” via a music video. Then The National shared the album’s fourth single, “Your Mind is Not Your Friend,” which featured guest backing vocals by Phoebe Bridgers and was shared via a music video directed by Jackson Bridgers (Phoebe’s brother) and co-starring Tom Berninger (brother of Matt Berninger). First Two Pages of Frankenstein also features Sufjans Stevens.

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 previous press release, Matt Berninger said 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.”

Bryce Dessner said 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.”

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

Read our 2018 interview with The National.

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

The National Tour Dates:

May 18 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre *
May 19 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 20 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 21 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 23 – Washington, DC – The Anthem *
May 24 – Washington, DC – The Anthem * SOLD OUT
May 26 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling Festival
May 28 – Napa, CA – Bottlerock Festival
May 30 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 31 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre *
June 2 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield *
June 3 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield * SOLD OUT
June 4 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park * SOLD OUT
June 5 – Vancouver, BC – Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park *
August 1 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia ~ SOLD OUT
August 2 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia ~
August 3 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl ~
August 5 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga Festival
August 7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit ~ SOLD OUT
August 8 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee ~ SOLD OUT
August 9 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory ~
August 11 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom ~ SOLD OUT
August 12 – 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
August 20 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage with very special guest Patti Smith and her band and U.S. Girls
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 * SOLD OUT
September 27 – 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 ^
October 7 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^


*Soccer Mommy
~The Beths
^ Bartees Strange

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