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thenational tour2023Everyone was euphoric when THE NATIONAL finally released a new song last August: It’s about letting go of the past, only to be overwhelmed on second thought by the memory, the loss of innocence and the grief of our strange goodbyes. The fact that ‘Weird Goodbyes’ immediately became a duet with Bon Iver is all the nicer. Matt Berninger’s deep baritone and Justin Vernon’s gentle timbre model the melancholy of the track very nicely and fit together just as perfectly as the sound of the two bands. But it’s even nicer that THE NATIONAL announced at the same time that the single is also a foretaste of their upcoming ninth studio album.

‘First Two Pages of Frankenstein’ will be released at the end of April and despite all the glorious successes as a band - including a Grammy for the album ‘Sleep Well Beast’ and countless sold-out tours around the world - the path to the finished album was not easy. Singer and lyricist Matt Berninger found himself in writer’s block that lasted for several months and seemed to have no end. So, the band put songwriting aside for the time being and focused on their interpersonal relationships in order to find each other again as a band on a different level, away from the professional context. The album title remains as a relic of this time: Whenever Berninger can’t find the words, he reaches for his favourite books to be inspired and so the classic by Mary Shelley is reminiscent of this episode of THE NATIONAL.

As soon as the band was able to tour again in 2022 after the long break caused by the pandemic, the ideas and lyrics just gushed out of Berninger and quickly made for a multitude of new songs, most of which were recorded at Long Pond Studio in the Hudson Valley. Some pieces were also recorded as fragments during sound checks or like the song ‘Tropic Morning News’ at the concert in Hamburg last summer and combine their sketchy character with the unique dark-melancholic atmosphere that has always been so characteristic of THE NATIONAL. In addition to the vulnerable lyrics by Matt Berninger and the sophisticated and sprawling music of the two brothers Dessner and Devendorf, there are also several well-known guests on the album: Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens lend their voices and thus give the songs even more facets.

In the coming fall, the new songs will finally be duly presented on tour and, together with the band’s broad back catalogue, will ensure happy fans at two exclusive shows in Berlin and Munich. They are supported by Bartees Strange, who first drew attention to himself with an EP full of THE NATIONAL cover songs in 2020. Since then, two independent albums have been released and Bartees Strange has now also found its label home on 4AD. With his mix of Indie Rock and 2000’s R’n’B references, the artist will set the tone for THE NATIONAL perfectly.

THE NATIONAL - Special guest: Bartees Strange
Sep 30, 2023 Berlin, Max-Schmeling-Halle
Oct 1, 2023 Munich, Zenith

Tickets for the shows are available from Friday, January 27, 10 a.m. for EUR 55.00 plus fees at all known CTS advance booking offices and via the hotline +49 (0) 1806 - 570070 (EUR 0.20/call from a landline, Mobile phone max. €0.60/call), on fkpscorpio.com and Eventim.

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