Track, which features Bridgers, will appear on band’s upcoming ‘First Two Pages of Frankenstein’ album
The National’s Matt Berninger and his brother Tom frolic in a park and depress tween children by skulking around a playground in the video for their new song, “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend,” which also features Phoebe Bridgers. Sensibly, Bridgers plays a concerned mom or babysitter in the clip, removing a toddler from the disturbing imagery of Matt and Tom stuffing flowers into ill-fitting suits and bumbling around a rope bridge, likely tripping on acid. (Bridgers’ brother Jackson directed the clip.)
On the tune, which comes off the National’s upcoming First Two Pages of Frankenstein album (out April 28), Berninger warns against imaginations running out of control. He and Bridgers unite their voices to sing, “Don’t you understand?/Your mind is not your friend again/It takes you by the hand/And leaves you nowhere.” Deceptively gentle piano and light drums play in the background. Berninger and Bridgers previously collaborated on “Walking on a String.”
Berninger has said that the inspiration for the song literally came from the first two pages of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. “When I feel stuck, I’ll often grab a book off the shelf just to get some words in my head, and the first two pages of Frankenstein ended up triggering the song ‘Your Mind Is Not Your Friend,’” Matt Berninger said in a statement. “The book starts off with the narrator on a voyage near the Arctic Circle, and that image of being adrift helped me to write about feeling disconnected and lost and lacking in purpose. Once I started confronting that strange, blurry panic of not having ideas, everything began to crack open a bit.”
The National previously teased First Two Pages of Frankenstein with “Eucalyptus,” “Tropic Morning News,” and “New Order T-Shirt.” They also performed “Tropic Morning News” on The Tonight Show. Bridgers sings on another song on the album, “This Isn’t Happening,” which hasn’t come out yet, and Sufjan Stevens and Taylor Swift both make appearances on the LP.