The National Debut “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend”

The National Debut “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend”
The National photo by Josh Goleman

The National have shared “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend” featuring Phoebe Bridgers, a track off their forthcoming album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, available April 28th via 4AD. 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. The 11-song First Two Pages of Frankenstein was produced by The National at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York and features guest appearances by Taylor Swift and Sufjan Stevens.

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.”

The 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.

In recognition of the song’s mental health theme, The National is making a donation to, 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.”

The National will begin a 2023 world tour with a four-night stand in Chicago on May 18. The itinerary, with numerous shows already sold out, 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.

The National
First Two Pages of Frankenstein
track list

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 2023 tour dates

May 18 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre *
May 19 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 20 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 21 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 23 – Washington, DC – The Anthem *
May 24 – Washington, DC – The Anthem * SOLD OUT
May 26 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling Festival
May 28 – Napa, CA – Bottlerock Festival
May 30 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre * SOLD OUT
May 31 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre *
June 2 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield *
June 3 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield * SOLD OUT
June 4 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park * SOLD OUT
June 5 – Burnaby, BC, Canada – Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park *
August 1 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia ~ SOLD OUT
August 2 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia ~
August 3 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl ~
August 5 – Montreal, PQ – Osheaga Festival
August 7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit ~ SOLD OUT
August 8 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee ~ SOLD OUT
August 9 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory ~
August 11 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom ~ SOLD OUT
August 12 – 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 with very special guest Patti Smith and her band
August 20 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage with very special guest Patti Smith and her band and U.S. Girls
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 * SOLD OUT
September 27 – 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

Order tickets for The National HERE


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