The National Reveal New Single “Weird Goodbyes” With Bon Iver

Photo by / Josh Goleman

Since returning to the stage as of May 2022, The National have released a string of singles leading up to their most recent project with Bon Iver. Out now on all streaming platforms is “Weird Goodbyes“– a continuum of the Justin Vernon-National duet, pairing the playful with the desolate.

The Grammy Award winning, NY-bred pioneers of somber, indie semi-sonic have been on the map since 1999, leaving a trail of acclaim for over two decades. Weaving softly strummed magnetism with a conversational yet melancholic reverb is a staple in The Nationals agenda, and it has impacted the introspective’s for decades– and as time fleeted on, their progression imbedded with the times and their muse. With 5 Billboard Top 10 Albums under their belt, including their 2017 golden ticket, Sleep Well Beast, they’re recent come back and partnership with Bon Iver was equally as expected as it was anticipated.

As if operating at the same frequency while still marching to the beat of their own drum, Justin Vernon and lead singer, Matt Berninger, make “Weird Goodbyes” a seamless musical partnership. “I somehow could hear our friend Justin’s voice and heart in this song from the beginning,” says Dessner on their collaboration, “We sent it to him and it moved him – he then sang with Matt so powerfully.”

Standing as one of the first news songs of the groups reconciliation, “Weird Goodbyes” infuses their trademark sound with an abstract flare– coming from the tips of Aaron Dessner’s drum sticks and tenderness of Berninger’s elegance. Starting from the ground up this track was built on exploratory spontaneity. “I was misusing drum machines,” says Aaron. “And stumbled onto this beat that got stuck in my head — it felt like something only Bryan could naturally play,” and the rest was history.

Like its formation, “Weird Goodbyes” builds upon itself before your eyes. Starting with a cohesive foundation, rendering bursts of lo-fi flipped drums, the keys come in to play as if they are leading us in the opposite direction– keeping everyone on their toes in anticipation. The conversational tone of Berninger lays a mournful foundation, where it is clear that these words come from a place of lingering regret and agonizing goodbyes.

“I don’t know why/I don’t try harder,” intensifies with every melancholic note, tag-teamed by Berninger and Vernon. The two voices are harmonious in opposition, creating an alt-folk vibration infused with lo-fi funk, building their dream world where the dream is a distant memory. The tension surrounding this track is unceasingly present, never quite finding a solution to counteract weird goodbyes– and yet a form of beauty is born, where we understand how lucky we truly are to have goodbyes that mean so much to us.

Through all the gut-wrenching tears and salt filled breaths, we are happy to announce that The National will be heading to a city near you on their 2023 world tour. For more information visit here.

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