The National Figure Out Who Gets the Plants Post-Break Up on ‘Eucalpytus’

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National-Press-Photo-Josh-Goleman - Credit: Josh Goleman
National-Press-Photo-Josh-Goleman - Credit: Josh Goleman

The National have dropped another new song, “Eucalyptus,” from their upcoming album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, out April 28 via 4AD.

The track came about somewhat unexpectedly while the band was preparing for a show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Bryce Dessner had sent the instrumental to frontman Matt Berninger so long ago he’d forgotten about it; but before the gig, Berninger said he’d written lyrics and asked if they could perform it during soundcheck.

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“We rehearsed it twice without ever having had a demo and played it to the audience that night, and what you hear on the album was partially recorded during that performance,” Berninger says. “It’s got this raw, immediate feeling, and it made sense to leave the rough edges instead of trying to perfect them.”

Of the lyrics to “Eucalyptus,” Berninger adds: “Throughout the record there’s a lot of looking into the abyss and wondering if a relationship has run its course. ‘Eucalyptus’ is about a couple splitting up their possessions after a breakup — like, ‘What are we going to do with the spring water we get delivered, what’s going to happen to all these plants?’ It’s about all those little things you end up having to think about when you’ve become so connected to someone.”

“Eucalyptus” also arrives with a music video, directed by Chris Sgroi. The clip captures a performance of the song filmed at Aaron Dessner’s famed Long Pond studio.

“Eucalyptus” is the third song the National have shared from First Two Pages of Frankenstein, following “Tropic Morning News” and “New Order T-Shirt.” The album follows the group’s 2019 effort, I Am Easy to Find, and will feature contribution from Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens. Following the album’s release, the National will embark on an extensive North American tour, starting May 20 in Chicago and wrapping Aug. 18 in New York City.

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