The National Recruits Taylor Swift For ‘The Alcott’ and Parent LP ‘First Two Pages of Frankenstein’: Listen

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The National unleash something of a monster with First Two Pages of Frankenstein, the alternative rock band’s collaboration-stacked ninth studio album, one that pulls star power from Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens.

Arriving at the stroke of midnight, Frankenstein stretches across 11 tracks and includes previously released cuts “Tropic Morning News,” “New Order T-Shirt,” “Eucalyptus” and “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend,” featuring Bridgers, a track which, according to reps, came to fruition when frontman Matt Berninger worked through a case of writer’s block with the help of “Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley’s classic novel which gives the album its name.

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Swifties will no doubt show up for buzzy number “The Alcott,” which features Taylor Swift.

Guitarist, pianist and bass player and TayTay collaborator Aaron Dessner says “The Alcott” took its baby steps when Berninger wrote the main part to some music he’d already written. Swift heard it, she dug it, “so I thought it might be something she would really click with,” Dessner says.

“I sent it to her, and was a little nervous as I didn’t hear back for 20 minutes or so. 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,” he adds, “and everyone fell immediately in love with it.”

“The Alcott” is something a return of favor for Dessner, who worked closely with Swift on her pandemic-era 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore.

On it, Swift and Berninger duet on several verses. “I sit there silently waiting for you to look up/I see you smile when you see it’s me/ I had to do something to break into your golden thinking/ How many times will I do this and you’ll still believe?,” they sing.

First Two Pages of Frankenstein is the followup to I Am Easy to Find, which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, and 2017’s Sleep Well Beast, which hit No. 2 on the national albums chart and won a Grammy Award for best alternative music album.

To give the new collection a nudge along, The National performed album track “Eucalyptus” late Thursday (April 27) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The National will perform the new album live when they hit the road for a North American trek, starting May 18 at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL.

Watch the late-night performance below.

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