The National and Bon Iver combine on ‘Weird Goodbyes’.
The two parties are hardly strangers to one another, with Justin Vernon having previously contributed to the band’s studio work, and live performances. This feels quite distinct, however, a work that absorbs aspects of both identities, while pursuing something new.
Announced last week, ‘Weird Goodbyes’ will soundtrack what one wag at label 4AD termed “sad dad autumn” – fair point well made.
chuffed to officially confirm indie rock’s worst kept secret that the national and bon iver are releasing a new track next Monday
sad dad autumn incoming pic.twitter.com/TCjsQQXiE5
— Will Tompsett (@WillTompsett) August 18, 2022
Now online, ‘Weird Goodbyes’ harks back to The National’s classic sound, the pensive poetry of the lyricism asserted with Matt Berninger’s enormously affecting baritone. Justin Vernon’s vocal is no slouch either, mind, a duet of enormous empathy.
The syrupy electronics add a distorting impact, as though you world is being subtly moulded by forces outside your control. The National’s Matt Berninger comments: “It’s about letting go of the past and moving on, then later being overwhelmed by second thoughts…”
Band mate Aaron Dessner adds: “‘Weird Goodbyes’ was one of the first new songs we made. I was misusing drum machines, as usual, and stumbled onto this beat that got stuck in my head — it felt like something only Bryan could naturally play. We built the song around the beat. Matt’s melody and words felt so elegant and moving from the beginning – mourning a loss of innocence and motivation, holding onto memories and feelings that inevitably slip away and the grief we all suffer in weird goodbyes.”
Continuing, Aaron Dessner reflects on Bon Iver’s contributions to the song: “I somehow could hear our friend Justin’s voice and heart in this song from the beginning. We sent it to him and it moved him – he then sang with Matt so powerfully.”
Tune in now.
Photo Credit: Josh Goleman