Just over 24 hours after wrapping up their Homecoming Festival in Cincinnati, the National have dropped a new album, as announced by Matt Berninger onstage Friday night. It’s the band’s second album of 2023, and I’d argue that it’s also their best album of 2023. We’ll have a more in-depth breakdown later today.
The new album is called Laugh Track. Other than closing number “Smoke Detector,” which came together spontaneously during a sound check in Vancouver on June 5 of this year, the National wrote recorded this record during the same sessions that yielded April’s First Two Pages Of Frankenstein (hence the similar cover art).
Like Frankenstein, Laugh Track features a few famous guests. The previously released Bon Iver collab “Weird Goodbyes” is on there. So is “Crumble,” a duet with Roseanne Cash. The title track features yet another Phoebe Bridgers guest spot — that makes three over the course of these two records. Most importantly, recent singles “Alphabet City” and “Space Invader” (one of the best National songs ever) are on the tracklist.
So, yeah: New National album out now!
Laugh Track is out now on 4AD.