Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

The National announces new album ‘The First Two Pages of Frankenstein’

The album, out April 24, will feature appearances from Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens

By Larisha Paul

The National. (Picture: Josh Goleman)

Long Pond Studios, the upstate New York location where Aaron Dessner has churned out record after record for both himself and his collaborators, is the musical gift that keeps on giving. Its latest creative output is the National’s newly-announced ninth studio album First Two Pages of Frankenstein, set for release on April 28.

Led by frontman Matt Berninger — with Dessner on guitar, piano, and bass, and his brother Bryce Dessner on both guitarist and pianist, Bryan Devendorf on drums, and Scott Devendorf also on bass and guitar — the record will also feature special guest appearances from Taylor SwiftSufjan Stevens, and Phoebe Bridgers, who appears on two of the 11 songs.

The album, their first since 2019’s I Am Easy to Find, was born from a “very dark spot where I couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all,” Berninger said in a statement. “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 frontman added that 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.”

The band chose a song from mid-way through the tracklist to introduce First Two Pages of Frankenstein, sharing “Tropic Morning News” as the project’s lead single.

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

Aaron Dessner added: “When Matt came in with that song in the depths of his depression, it felt like a turning point for us. 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.”

In May, the National will bring First Two Pages of Frankenstein on the road as they embark on a 19-date North American tour. The trek will make stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minneapolis, Nashville, Atlanta, and more. The band will close out the leg with a headlining show at New York’s Madison Square Garden with special guest Patti Smith and her band.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. local time. Soccer Mommy, The Beths, and Bartees Strange will join as support on select dates. View the full list of dates below and find more information on the National’s website.

First Two Pages of Frankenstein Tracklist
Once Upon A Poolside (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
New Order T-Shirt
This Isn’t Helping (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
Tropic Morning News
The Alcott (feat. Taylor Swift)
Grease In Your Hair
Ice Machines
Your Mind Is Not Your Friend (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
Send For Me

This article first appeared on