Music

The National Tease New Album With “Mrs. Bridgers,” “Taylor,” and “Uncle Sufjan”

The National Tease New Album With “Mrs. Bridgers,” “Taylor,” and “Uncle Sufjan”

The band is hinting at its ninth LP with references to famous friends and collaborators

The National's Matt Berninger photographed by Lorne Thomson

The National’s Matt Berninger, August 2022 (Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

The National are teasing something new. Matt Berninger and co. have taken to social media to share a new teaser clip, which depicts the vocalist at a piano bench with a coffee mug and a copy of the classic Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein. In the clip, Berninger turns to face the camera as a sparse piano line plays in the background.

The post also includes a link to a password-protected section of their website at americanmary.com/lp9. As Stereogum points out, fans have already discovered that the password “EVIL FOREBODINGS” grants them access to a web page featuring a short video clip with audio from two new songs.

The clip shows a static shot of an open book with text that’s similar to Shelly’s original novel, but with a few key differences. The page is written in the style of a letter with a famous addressee: “To Mrs. Bridgers, England”; it also mentions people named “Taylor” and “Uncle Sufjan.”

The video is soundtracked by clips of two new songs. The first clip features Berninger’s voice over the same piano line included in their social media post, while the second features a drum machine and guitar lines. Check it out on the band’s website.

The National’s eighth studio album, I Am Easy to Find, was released in May 2019. Since then, they’ve collaborated with Bon Iver and the London Contemporary Orchestra on a song called “Weird Goodbyes,” remixed the Neu! classic “I’m Glück,” and made an appearance—at least partially—on Taylor Swift’s 2020 album Folklore, with Bryan Devendorf, Aaron Dessner, and Bryce Dessner credited as contributors. Berninger also sings on the Evermore duet “Coney Island.”

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