The National‘s new album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, is out now and with it comes the band’s much anticipated collaboration with Taylor Swift, “The Alcott.”
“[Frontman] Matt [Berninger] 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,” says guitarist Aaron Dessner, who previously worked with Swift on her two 2020 albums, folklore and evermore.
“I sent it to [Swift], and was a little nervous as I didn’t hear back for 20 minutes or so,” Dessner explains. “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 adds that “The Alcott” is 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,” he says.
You can listen to “The Alcott” now via digital outlets and watch its accompanying lyric video streaming now on YouTube.
First Two Pages of Frankenstein, the ninth album from The National, also features Phoebe Bridgers on two songs, “This Isn’t Helping” and “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend.”
The National will launch a U.S. tour in support of First Two Pages of Frankenstein May 18 in Chicago.
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