Fans of The National knew a new song announcement was coming after posters began appearing around Brooklyn last weekend teasing “Weird Goodbyes” featuring Bon Iver. The news is now official, as The National has confirmed via social media that the track will arrive Aug. 22 at 12pm ET. It can be pre-saved here.
“Weird Goodbyes” has been played live nine times on The National’s summer world tour, although it has been written on set lists with different names (“Bathwater” and “Mount Auburn”). The track is piano-led and features an elaborate beat played by drummer Bryan Devendorf, as frontman Matt Berninger sings about grief, old memories and letting go.
“This is special,” The National’s Aaron Dessner wrote on Twitter. “We put a lot of heart into making it.”
This will be the first appearance by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on a National studio recording, although he has performed and recorded with group members in many different settings over the years. Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s long-running Big Red Machine project released its second album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, in 2021, and Vernon also appeared on the Dessner-produced Taylor Swift albums folklore and evermore.
“Weird Goodbyes” will presumably be featured on The National’s next album, a release date for which has yet to be announced. It will be the follow-up to 2019’s I Am Easy To Find, a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart.
Dessner recently worked with King Princess on her album Hold on Baby, and is known to have collaborated on a wealth of new music with Ed Sheeran (a detail revealed during March testimony in a Sheeran copyright infringement case).