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The National announce album, lead single ‘Tropic Morning News’

The National and its members never seem to stop. Side projects, solo endeavors, collaborations, co-writing — they always have something going on. Today brought a lot of “somethings,” including a new album, single and tour.

We’ll have to wait until April 28 for the deliciously titled First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which includes contributions from Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridgers and up-and-comer Taylor Swift. But, in the meantime, we get “Tropic Morning News” as an appetizer. It’s a delightfully sunny single, full of the hope and optimism we’ve come to expect from The National.

OK, not really. The sound is sprightly, though, with a dance beat that launches you into the proceedings and synth-y bed for the mostly understated guitar work (we do get a sharp solo about halfway through). Over the top of that, Matt Berninger tells the tale of someone who has a lot to get off their chest, a message made even more powerful by the fact that he co-wrote the song with wife Carin Besser:

I was suffering more than I let on
The tropic morning news was on
There's nothing stopping me now
From saying all the painful parts out loud

You can listen to “Tropic Morning News” here and — if you’re a long-term planner — in Madison on Aug. 8, when the band plays the Sylvee with opener The Beths. Tickets for that one go on sale at 10 a.m. next Friday, Jan. 27.