The National Drop Surprise Album 'Laugh Track'

The band announced the album Friday night while performing at its Homecoming Festival in Cincinnati.

By: Sep. 18, 2023
The National Drop Surprise Album 'Laugh Track'

The National has released a surprise second album of 2023, Laugh Track, which the band announced Friday night while performing at its Homecoming Festival in Cincinnati.

The 12-song Laugh Track is a companion to and features material originally started in the same sessions as First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which was released by 4AD in April. The National has also confirmed additional U.S. tour dates this fall, as well as Australian shows next spring with support from longtime friends Fleet Foxes. See all tour dates below.

Laugh Track is the band's most freewheeling, all-hands-on-deck album in years. If Frankenstein represented a rebuilding of trust between group members after 20+ years together, the vibrant, exploratory Laugh Track is both the product of that faith and a new statement of intent.

Reveling in the license to radically upend its creative process, The National honed most of this material in live performances on tour this year, and captured those invigorated versions in impromptu sessions at producer Tucker Martine’s Portland studio, Flora Recording & Playback.

The nearly eight-minute album closer “Smoke Detector” was recorded in June during a Vancouver soundcheck, completing a body of work bristling with spontaneity and vintage rock energy that makes a perfect complement to the songs found on its more introspective predecessor.

Laugh Track features guest appearances by Phoebe Bridgers and Rosanne Cash, as well as the Bon Iver collaboration “Weird Goodbyes,” which was released as a standalone track in August 2022. “It felt like the story had already been told. It was its own thing,” says group member Aaron Dessner of the latter track. “But it also felt related to what we were doing. That was part of the logic for making another record — let’s give ‘Weird Goodbyes’ its own home.”

On the heels of selling out New York’s famed Madison Square Garden during its first headlining show at the venue in August, the band made a triumphant return over this past weekend to their hometown of Cincinnati to headline their own two-day festival at Smale Park's ICON Stage.

Joined by friends like Patti Smith and Her Band Pavement, The Walkmen, Snail Mail, Bartees Strange, Arooj Aftab, Weyes Blood and more, the band took the final slot each night to play for more than two and half hours.

They performed full album playbacks of High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me, plus songs from their extensive catalog. On Friday night, Patti Smith joined them on “I Need My Girl” and the band, just ahead of playing their new song “Space Invader” made the announcement of the new album to festival goers’ excited surprise. A limited number of vinyl copies available for sale at the site.  

The National begins a European tour Sept. 21 in Dublin. New U.S. dates will get underway Nov. 10 in San Francisco, and will be followed by four newly announced shows in Australia in late February and early March 2024. Tickets for new US dates go on sale Friday, September 22 at 10:00am local time. Tickets for Australia go on sale Friday, September 22 at 12:00pm local time. For Australia tickets, click HERE.  For all tickets and additional information, click HERE.

Formed in New York in 1999, The National has scored five top 10 albums on The Billboard 200, with 2017’s Sleep Well Beast earning the Grammy for Best Alternative Album.

The National on tour:

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 * SOLD OUT

September 27 – London, UK – Alexandra Palace * SOLD OUT

September 29 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggo Dome ^ SOLD OUT

September 30 – Berlin, DE – Max-Schmeling-Halle ^ SOLD OUT

October 1 – Munich, DE – Zenith ^

October 4 – Madrid, ES – WiZink Center ^

October 5 – Porto, PT – Super Bock Arena ^ SOLD OUT

October 6 – Lisbon, PT – Campo Pequeno ^ SOLD OUT

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 %

February 28, 2024 – Brisbane, Australia – Riverstage ~

March 1, 2024 – Sydney, Australia – Aware Super Theatre ~

March 5, 2024 – Melbourne, Australia – Sidney Myer Music Bowl ~

March 9, 2024 – Perth, Australia – Kings Park & Botanic Garden~


*Soccer Mommy

^ Bartees Strange

% Hand Habits

~ Very Special Guests Fleet Foxes, Annie Hamilton

Photo Credit: Graham MacIndoe


New Order Announce Los Angeles Show At YouTube Theater In November Photo
New Order Announce Los Angeles Show At YouTube Theater In November

New Order have announced a show in Los Angeles at YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park on 11/15, with support from Blossoms. This precedes their headlining performance at Darker Waves Festival on 11/18 and follows a run of European dates. Last spring saw New Order give a run of triumphant North American performances.

FABLED MIND Release New Single Altered Reality Off Exclusive Vinyl Only LP Project Paradis Photo
FABLED MIND Release New Single 'Altered Reality' Off Exclusive Vinyl Only LP 'Project Paradise'

The band has teamed up with Thousand Islands Records (CANADA) Lockjaw Records (UK) and Nasty Cut Records (EU) for the release of 'Project Paradise' on vinyl. The LP takes listeners on a captivating narrative journey, inviting them to contemplate their own existence in an ever-evolving world shaped by technological advancements.

The Blues Project Announces Mark Newman Has Joined the Band Photo
The Blues Project Announces Mark Newman Has Joined the Band

Mark Newman is back on tour this October - appearing LIVE on Guitar and vocals with the legendary 60’s group, The Blues Project led by original drummer Roy Blumenfeld in a new lineup that also includes Ken Clark, Chris Bergson & Jesse Williams. East Coast Tour dates include stops in Saugerties & NYC’s Iridium and more. 

Rival Consoles Kicks off Headline North American Tour This Week Photo
Rival Consoles Kicks off Headline North American Tour This Week

Following the release of his critically acclaimed album, Now Is (Erased Tapes), West recently returned to share a new single “Coda” to share the news of his first North American tour in five years. The tour will see Rival Consoles performing at notable venues throughout the United States and Canada in September and October for the first time.

From This Author - Michael Major

Michael Major is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Marist College.After starting out running social media for a theatre company, his love of pop culture led him to intern at TigerBeat Media. Afte... Michael Major">(read more about this author)