Photo: Josh Goleman

The National slalom through cherished nostalgia on “New Order T-Shirt”

The National are releasing their new album First Two Pages of Frankenstein in April, and today they share the second taste of it in a song called “New Order T-Shirt”. Aaron Dessner says:

“To me the line ‘I keep what I can of you’ means something about everyone I’ve ever known or loved. There’s a simplicity to ‘New Order T-Shirt’ that reminds me of our earlier records, but with the full maturity and experience we have now. It feels like a really important song for the future of our band.” 

The arrangement of “New Order T-Shirt” is subtle but complex, a landscape of shimmering tones that never overwhelms but only elevates Matt Berninger’s grab-bag of cherished memories. We’re taken from incidental moments of pure fondness for someone now no longer in his life; weaving through traffic cones, getting saved from customs cops, being taken care of when down with illness and much more. It quietly builds through a storm of memories to the admission “I keep what I can of you / Split second glimpses and snapshots and sounds / You in my New Order t-shirt,” a humbly heartbreaking finale.

Watch the video for “New Order T-Shirt” below or find it on streamers.

The National’s First Two Pages of Frankenstein arrives on April 28 through 4AD (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.