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The National Get Introspective on New Singles ‘Alphabet City, ‘Space Invader’

The dual tracks follow the rock band’s recent LP, Two Pages of Frankenstein

The National have released two new songs, “Alphabet City” and “Space Invader.” The latter arrived with a moody visualizer directed by Noah Sacré and Pauline de Lassus, with animation and drawings by de Lassus.

The melancholy, seven-minute track sees frontman Matt Berninger imagining alternate scenarios. “What if I stayed on the/ C train until Lafayette?” he croons. “What if we never met?/ What if I only had done what you/ Told me and never looked back?/ What if I’d only ducked away down/ The hallway and faded to black?”

“Alphabet City” also got the visualizer treatment, with animation and drawings by de Lassus. Both clips feature photographs by Brent Walter-Ballantyne. Here Berninger is similarly reflective. “I’ll still be here when you come back from space/ I will listen for you at the door,” he sings. “Sometimes I barely recognize this place/ When you’re with me, I don’t miss the world.”


The National’s ninth studio LP, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, was released in April via 4AD. The 11-song album was produced by the National and recorded at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York. It featured guest appearances by Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens, as well as a duet with Taylor Swift on “The Alcott.”

The band is currently on tour in support of the album. They will perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City this week with Patti Smith and her band before heading to Toronto on Aug. 20. The trek continues in Europe in September and October, with stops in London, Munich, Lisbon, and more.

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