After teasing it, The National have announced their anticipated ninth album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, due out April 28 via 4AD (pre-order on red vinyl). The band produced it at Long Pond Studio, and previous collaborators Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens each feature on songs. See the cover art and tracklist below.

Lead singer Matt Berninger says he went through "a very dark spot where I couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all" while working on the album. "Even though we’d always been anxious whenever we were working on a record, this was the first time it ever felt like maybe things really had come to an end," he writes. Eventually, the band "managed to come back together and approach everything from a different angle, and because of that we arrived at what feels like a new era for the band,” Bryce Dessner adds.

The first single is "Tropic Morning News," which Matt co-wrote with his wife and regular collaborator Carin Besser. "The idea of referring to the darkness of the news in such a light way unlocked something in me," Matt says. “It became a song about having a hard time expressing yourself, and trying to connect with someone when the noise of the world is drowning out any potential for conversation.”

"When Matt came in with that song in the depths of his depression, it felt like a turning point for us,” Aaron Dessner adds. "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." Listen below.

The National have also announced a tour, beginning in the US in May, June, and August, with shows in Europe and the UK to follow in September. Soccer Mommy, The Beths, and Bartees Strange each open select dates, which you can see below.

The US leg ends with a big NYC show at Madison Square Garden on August 18. That one is with Patti Smith and her Band. You can register now to access tickets early on a presale that starts Thursday, January 26 at 10 AM. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, January 27 at 10 AM local time.

The National - First Two Pages of Frankenstein

Once Upon A Poolside (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
New Order T-Shirt
This Isn't Helping (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
Tropic Morning News
The Alcott (feat. Taylor Swift)
Grease In Your Hair
Ice Machines
Your Mind Is Not Your Friend (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
Send For Me

The National 2023 tour

May 20 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre *
May 21 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre *
May 24 – Washington, DC – The Anthem *
May 26 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling Festival
May 28 – Napa, CA – Bottlerock Festival
May 30 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre *
June 2 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield *
June 3 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield *
June 4 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park *
June 5 – Burnaby, BC, Canada – Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park *
August 1 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia ~
August 3 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl ~
August 7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit ~
August 8 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee ~
August 9 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory ~
August 11 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom ~
August 15 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater ~
August 16 – Atlanta, GA – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park ~
August 18 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden #
September 21 – Dublin, IRE – 3 Arena *
September 23 – Leeds, UK – First Direct Arena *
September 24 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro Arena *
September 26 – London, UK – Alexandra Palace *
September 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggo Dome ^
September 30 – Berlin, DE – Max-Schmeling-Halle ^
October 1 – Munich, DE – Zenith ^
October 4 – Madrid, ES – WiZink Center ^
October 5 – Porto, PT – Super Bock Arena ^
October 6 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^

* Soccer Mommy
~ The Beths
^ Bartees Strange
# Patti Smith and her Band

More From Brooklyn Vegan