The National have dropped a teaser and a whole lit class’ worth of clues for their ninth studio album and follow-up to 2019’s I Am Easy to Find.
Over on the band’s Instagram page, they shared a link to AmericanMary.com/LP9, where users are greeted with a prompt for a password. Enter the words EVIL FOREBODINGS, and you’ll be greeted with an altered version of the first pages of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Instead of a letter to Mrs. Saville, this missive is addressed to Mrs. Bridgers, while the name Margaret has been replaced with Taylor, and “our good Uncle Thomas” has given way to “our good Uncle Sufjan.”
These are likely references to Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor Swift, and Sufjan Stevens, which lends credence to an alleged leaked tracklist that Amazon accidentally published alongside the new Belle & Sebastian album.
Press play on the the page of evil forebodings, and you’ll be treated to snippets of two songs. The first is a contemplative piano number that finds Matt Berninger singing, “Don’t make this any harder,” and the second is a swelling indie rock song with the lyrics, “I wasn’t starting yet/ I didn’t even think you were listening/ I wasn’t ready at all to say/ Anything about anything interesting.”
Check out a less involved Instagram teaser that shows Berninger reading Frankenstein below, and stay tuned for updates on The National’s ninth album as they become available.
Last year, The National linked with Bon Iver for “Weird Goodbyes” and remixed NEU!’s “Im Glück.” At a performance in Spain, they also performed three new songs which might appear on the album. Meanwhile, the Dessner brothers Aaron and Bryce formed a new band with their sister Jessica and Rebekka Karijord called Complete Mountain Almanac. Their self-titled album is due out January 27th.
— The National (@TheNational) January 13, 2023