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The National - 'Your Mind Is Not Your Friend' (Feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
The National : 'Your Mind Is Not Your Friend' (Feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
12th April 2023

The National has released the fourth and final offering ahead of its upcoming album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, the idyllic 'Your Mind Is Not Your Friend' featuring Phoebe Bridgers.

The track confronts the entanglements of the habitual mind and the overwhelming nature of scrutiny.  “Don't you understand? / Your mind is not your friend again / It takes you by the hand/ And leaves you nowhere,” frontman Matt Berninger croons in tandem with the distinct grace and haunting nature of Bridgers’ vocals.

+ Listen to 'Your Mind is Not Your Friend' featuring Phoebe Bridgers here +

The wistful, nostalgic video for 'Your Mind Is Not Your Friend' stars Matt’s brother Tom, familiar to fans of The National from his 2014 film about the band, Mistaken For Strangers.  Extending the sibling theme, the clip was directed by Jackson Bridgers, Phoebe’s brother, and filmed at locations around Los Angeles.

The song emerged during a period of writer’s block for Berninger – a challenge he partially overcame with the help of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein.  “When I feel stuck, I’ll often grab a book off the shelf just to get some words in my head, and the first two pages of Frankenstein ended up triggering ‘Your Mind Is Not Your Friend', Berninger recalls.  “The book starts off with the narrator on a voyage near the Arctic Circle, and that image of being adrift helped me to write about feeling disconnected and lost and lacking in purpose.  Once I started confronting that strange, blurry panic of not having ideas, everything began to crack open a bit.” 

In recognition of the song’s mental health theme, The National is making a donation to TinyChanges.org, the charity established in the memory of Frightened Rabbit lead singer Scott Hutchinson by his family.  “Scott made tiny changes that had a big impact,” they write on the charity’s website.  “His honesty and openness about his own mental health inspired people from all walks of life.”

Anchored by evocative melodies and an enthralling lyrical narrative, First Two Pages of Frankenstein signals a new chapter in the band’s beloved discography.  The 11-song album was produced by The National at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York and features guest appearances by Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens. 

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After two back-to-back albums and several busy years of touring, First Two Pages of Frankenstein was initially stalled while lead singer Matt Berninger navigated, “a very dark spot where I couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all.  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.”  Instead, The National “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,” according to guitarist/pianist Bryce Dessner, whose bandmates also include his brother Aaron (guitar/piano/bass) as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

First Two Pages of Frankenstein channels the group’s revitalized chemistry into a body of work that beautifully balances elegant musicality with The National’s more idiosyncratic impulses.  Tracks such as 'Grease in Your Hair' and 'Ice Machines' were road-tested in 2022 before they were recorded, allowing the band to hone the material in real time (another song, 'Weird Goodbyes' featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, was released as a standalone track last August).  “To me the power of this record has to do with the intentionality and structure of the music meeting with a lot of accidental magic,” says Aaron Dessner.

The National – First Two Pages Of Frankenstein

1. Once Upon A Poolside (feat. Sufjan Stevens)
2. Eucalyptus
3. New Order T-Shirt
4. This Isn’t Helping (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
5. Tropic Morning News
6. Alien
7. The Alcott (feat. Taylor Swift)
8. Grease in Your Hair
9. Ice Machines
10. Your Mind Is Not Your Friend (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
11. Send for Me

The National will begin a 2023 world tour with a May 18-21 stand in Chicago. The itinerary also includes the band’s first show at New York’s Madison Square Garden on August 18 with very special guest Patti Smith and her band. Other shows feature opening sets from Soccer Mommy, The Beths and Bartees Strange. Tickets are on sale now here.


18th - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago IL, US*
19th - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago IL, US* [SOLD OUT]
20th - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago IL, US* [SOLD OUT]
21st - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago IL, US* [SOLD OUT] 
23rd - The Anthem, Washington DC, US*
24th - The Anthem, Washington DC, US* [SOLD OUT]
26th - Boston Calling Festival, Boston MA, US
28th - Bottlerock Festival, Napa CA, US
30th - Greek Theatre, Los Angeles CA, US* [SOLD OUT] 

2nd - McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale, OR, US*
3rd - McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale, OR, US*
4th - Marymoor Park , Redmond WA, US* [SOLD OUT] 
5th - Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park, Burnaby BC, Canada*

1st - The Met Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA, US~ [SOLD OUT]  
2nd - The Met Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA, US~
3rd - Westville Music Bowl, New Haven CT, US~
7th - The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit MI, US~  [SOLD OUT] 
8th - The Sylvee, Madison WI, US~  [SOLD OUT] 
9th - The Armory, Minneapolis, MN, US~
11th - Mission Ballroom, Denver CO, US~  [SOLD OUT] 
12th - Mission Ballroom, Denver CO, US~  
15th - Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville TN, US~
16th - Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park, Atlanta GA, US~
18th - Madison Square Garden with very special guest Patti Smith and
her band, New York NY, US

21st - 3 Arena, Dublin, Ireland*
23rd - First Direct Arena , Leeds, UK*
24th - OVO Hydro Arena, Glasgow, UK*
26th - Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace, UK* [SOLD OUT] 
27th - Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace, UK* 
29th - Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands^
30th - Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany^

1st - Zenith, Munich, Germany^
4th - WiZink Center, Madrid, Spain^
5th - Super Bock Arena, Porto, Portugal^
6th - Campo Pequeno, Lisbon, Portugal^

* - supported by Soccer Mommy
~ - supported by The Beths
^ - supported by Bartees Strange