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The National Gets a Sibling Assist on ‘Your Mind Is Not Your Friend’ Video

Clip features Phoebe Bridgers and was directed by her brother, Jackson
Photo: Josh Goleman

The National is a group made up of two sets of siblings, so it’s fitting that another pair of family members makes its presence felt in the new video for the song “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend.” The clip features a cameo from Phoebe Bridgers as a young mom at a playground and was directed by her brother Jackson; the National’s Matt Berninger also appears in tandem with his younger brother Tom, who directed the group’s 2013 documentary, Mistaken for Strangers.

The song itself emerged thanks to Berninger’s habit of reading random books for inspiration when stuck with writer’s block, and in this case, he reached for Mary Shelley’s beloved Frankenstein. “The book starts off with the narrator on a voyage near the Arctic Circle, and that image of being adrift helped me to write about feeling disconnected and lost and lacking in purpose,” he says. “Once I started confronting that strange, blurry panic of not having ideas, everything began to crack open a bit.”


“Your Mind Is Not Your Friend” will be the last pre-release track from First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which will be released on April 28 through 4AD. Amplifying the song’s mental health themes, the National has made a donation to the charity, which was established in the wake of the 2018 death of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchinson.

Meanwhile, the National’s Aaron Dessner has been busy performing as part of Ed Sheeran’s live band in advance of the May release of the latter’s (Subtract), on which Dessner served as producer and co-writer. According to Sheeran, he and Dessner already have a second collaborative album complete.