The National Runway Work with Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift

The National Runway Work with Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift

The National have teased two new singles from an upcoming album, with big hints that it will include collaborations with Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens.

The indie icons posted a short clip to their Twitter account featuring 25 seconds of new music featuring frontman Matt Berninger sitting at his piano. At the end of the short video, he turns around and holds up a copy of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. Frankenstein.

Earlier this week, The National made a splash with initial teasers sent out to members of their Cherry Tree fan club. Over on Reddit, a mysterious account posted a photo of a cutout face with a “Hello, my name is Paul” sticker on its head. On the reverse was the date “Friday the 13th” and the cryptic words “Ease the mind.”

Another Reddit user later posted to say they had received the same cropped image, but theirs was labeled “Evil Forebodings.” On Friday, The National added fuel to the fire by sharing a link via Twitter with the name of its new website and the letters “lp9”.

Following the link, fans are asked for a password, which is “Evil Forebodings”, before taking them to a passage from a letter to Mrs. Saville taken from Frankenstein. However, the letter here is addressed to Mrs. Bridgers; Margaret has been replaced by Taylor, and “our good Uncle Thomas” has given way to “our good Uncle Sufjan.”

These are generally thought to be references to Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor Swift and Sufjan Stevens, who are likely to appear in collaborative recordings on the new album.

The site also features preview snippets of two new songs, the first of which is an introspective piano ballad featuring Berninger singing, “Don’t make this more difficult.” A more upbeat second listens to a guitar passage as he sings: “I wasn’t starting yet/ I didn’t even think you were listening/ I wasn’t ready to say/ Nothing about anything interesting.”

In August of last year, The National returned from a three-year recording hiatus with the single ‘Weird Goodbyes’, a collaboration with Bon Iver. Speaking of the song in a press release, Berninger said, “It’s about letting go of the past and moving on, and then being overwhelmed by doubt.”

Added Aaron Dessner: “’Weird Goodbyes’ was one of the first new songs we did. I was misusing drum machines, as usual, and stumbled upon this beat that got stuck in my head – it felt like something only Bryan could play naturally. We built the song around the beat.”

Listen to ‘Weird Goodbyes’ below.

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