If you are aching for that shot of sadness, the boys of the blue, The National, have you covered with their ninth studio album, which dropped last weekend.
First Two Pages of Frankenstein, featuring guest appearances from Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridges and even Taylor Swift, was released on April 28 and continues the band’s melancholic misadventures.
The 11-track album was produced in Hudson Valley, New York, USA and officially announced in January this year, with the release of the lead single Tropic Morning News.
After the release of their last album and the cancellation of the band’s tour as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the band members retreated from each other, each working on personal projects.
Lead singer and lyricist Matt Berninger released his solo record, Bryce Dessner worked on film scores and classical compositions, Aaron Dessner produced two albums for Taylor Swift, and Bryan and Scott Devendorf assisted other musicians with making their music.
Work on the ninth National album stalled as Matt navigated a massive writer’s block. According to Aaron, the turning point came with Tropic Morning News, which was co-written with Berninger’s wife, Carin Besser, and 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,” Aaron told reporters.
“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.”
The album is now available on all streaming platforms.