The National have been playing a number of new songs live since returning to the road in May 2022, and now, the group releases one of them as a new single through 4AD, ‘Weird Goodbyes,’ feat. Bon Iver. The single continues the tradition of Justin Vernon’s collaborations with the band in the studio and on stage.
“It’s about letting go of the past and moving on, then later being overwhelmed by second thoughts,” says The National lead singer Matt Berninger of the song, which also features strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra as orchestrated by The National’s Bryce Dessner.
On the process of making the single, Aaron Dessner says, “’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.”
Dessner also explains how Bon Iver came to be featured on the track, “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.” Enjoy the tune!