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The National 2022 Josh Goleman

The National unveil new Bon Iver collaboration "Weird Goodbyes"

22 August 2022, 17:02 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

The National have returned with their first single of 2022, "Weird Goodbyes", which features Bon Iver.

"Weird Goodbyes" was first debuted by The National in May at their show in Pamplona, Spain as a song titled "Bathwater (Mount Auburn)", and today (22 August) the group have given the track, which features Bon Iver and strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra (orchestrated by Bryce Dessner), an official release.

The National's Matt Berninger says, "It’s about letting go of the past and moving on, then later being overwhelmed by second thoughts."

Aaron Dessner says of making the song, ""Weird Goodbyes" was one of the first new songs we made. I was misusing drum machines, as usual, and stumbled onto this beat that got stuck in my head -- it felt like something only Bryan could naturally play. We built the song around the beat. Matt's melody and words felt so elegant and moving from the beginning --- mourning a loss of innocence and motivation, holding onto memories and feelings that inevitably slip away and the grief we all suffer in weird goodbyes."

Of getting Bon Iver on board, Dessner adds, "I somehow could hear our friend Justin's voice and heart in this song from the beginning. We sent it to him and it moved him – he then sang with Matt so powerfully."

Back in March, Bryce Dessner gave an update on their follow-up to 2019's I Am Easy To Find album, saying it "kind of feels back to the classic National sound in a way, which was really just the five of us, and it has a lot of energy in it. Maybe it’s like bursting out of the closed doors of Covid or something? I don’t know."

"Weird Goodbyes" featuring Bon Iver is out now on 4AD. The National will headline All Points East this Friday (26 August) at London's Victoria Park. Visit for tickets and more information.

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