The National releases surprise new album ‘Laugh Track’ - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Indie rock veterans The National have released their surprise new album Laugh Track; the group’s second full length LP of 2023. The band explained the sudden release in their latest Instagram post saying, “The twelve song album is a second half/companion to First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which we released earlier this year. If Frankenstein represented a rebuilding of trust between us after 20+ years together, Laugh Track is both the product of that faith and a new statement of intent.”

It’s immediately evident that Laugh Track and First Two Pages of Frankenstein are not only creatively connected but formulated as a single, cohesive, musical thought. Aside from the obvious resemblance of the album covers (both feature the same graphic of a child holding a mannequin head named Paul, only differing in the filtered color palette of the image), both records highlight a spacious and airy folk production style that focuses on slow-burning acoustic tracks, driving forward and blossoming with band member Bryan Devendorf’s drumming.

Producer and band member Aron Dessner doubled down on the importance of Devendorf’s latest contributions in a recent press saying, “It’s not because we don’t enjoy sitting in a room banging around ideas, it’s just that it wasn’t that productive, so we developed a fairly elaborate way of building songs in which Bryan had a very important but compartmentalized role. This time we had the desire to make something that was more alive so that Bryan’s playing would drive more.”

Supplementing the album release, The National announced new show dates for their upcoming U.S fall tour including stops in Phoenix, AZ, Albuquerque, NM, and Tulsa, OK.

Listen to Laugh Track and check out the full list of tour dates below.

Tour Dates
September 21 – Dublin, IRE – 3 Arena *
September 23 – Leeds, UK – First Direct Arena *
September 24 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro Arena *
September 26 – London, UK – Alexandra Palace *
September 27 – London, UK – Alexandra Palace *
September 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggo Dome ^
September 30 – Berlin, DE – Max-Schmeling-Halle ^
October 1 – Munich, DE – Zenith ^
October 4 – Madrid, ES – WiZink Center ^
October 5 – Porto, PT – Super Bock Arena ^
October 6 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^
October 7 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^
November 10 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium %
November 11 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre %
November 13 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre %
November 14 – Albuquerque, NM – Kiva Auditorium %
November 16 – Tulsa, OK – Tulsa Theater %
November 17 – Austin, TX – Moody Center %
November 18 – Houston, TX – Lawn at White Oak %
November 19 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory %

*Soccer Mommy
^ Bartees Strange
% Hand Habits

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