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The National Reveal Surprise New Album ‘Laugh Track’ at Homecoming Festival

The National announced the impending release of a new album titled Laugh Track during the band’s opening night set at their Homecoming Festival in Cincinnati.

Arriving just five months after the band’s 2023 LP First Two Pages of Frankenstein, Laugh Track will be released digitally on Sunday, singer Matt Berninger told the crowd, with a vinyl release to follow in November.

“We have a new record coming out, it comes out Sunday night at midnight,” Berninger said. “The new record is called Laugh Track, and we have some pre-pressed vinyls here on your way out. The vinyl doesn’t come out ’til November. But you guys can get vinyl here, tonight.”

Aaron Dessner added, “We’re really excited about this record.”

The National then played “Space Invader,” one of two new singles that the band released in August — following First Two Pages of Frankenstein — and will feature on Laugh Track; “Alphabet City,” the other new single, and “Dreaming,” which debuted during Friday’s Homecoming set, will also presumably be on Laugh Track, along with “Smoke Detector,” which the National have performed a handful of times on their recent tour.

The Laugh Track announcement wasn’t the only surprise at Friday’s Homecoming gig, which included a full-album performance of the band’s 2010 LP High Violet: Patti Smith, who recently opened for the band on their summer tour, joined the National onstage for a rendition of “I Need My Girl”:


First Two Pages of Frankenstein arrived in April 2023 with a guest list that included Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens, as well as a duet with go-to collaborator Taylor Swift on “The Alcott.”

The Homecoming Festival continues Saturday with sets by Pavement, Snail Mail, Weyes Blood and more before the National take the stage for a set that will feature a full-album performance of Trouble Will Find Me and more.

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