The National performed three new songs at their gig in Paris on Monday (May 30) – scroll down the page to watch fan-shot footage now.
The tracks were previously given their live debuts at the tour-opening show in Pamplona, Spain on Saturday (May 28).
During the first of two dates at Paris’ Salle Pleyel venue, The National once again aired ‘Tropic Morning News (Haversham)’, ‘Grease In Your Hair (Birdie)’, and ‘Bathwater (Mount Auburn)’. The first song elements of The Cure in its vocal melodies, with frontman Matt Berninger’s voice accompanied by a propulsive beat and bright guitar lines.
“I was suffering more than I let on,” Berninger sings in the chorus. “The tropic morning news was on / There’s nothing stopping me now / From saying all the painful thoughts out loud.”
‘Grease In Your Hair (Birdie)’ builds from sparse verses to a driving chorus, with the frontman singing over a rousing hook: “Down we go underground / Magnets make machines go crazy / I used to know you well.”
Meanwhile, ‘Bathwater (Mount Auburn)’, which kicked off the encore, is laced with brass and cuts a more melancholy form than the other new tracks. “Move forward now, there’s nothing new,” Berninger sings. “Can’t turn around, I can’t follow you.”
Watch footage of all three songs in the video above – ‘Tropic Morning News (Haversham)’ starts at 45:40, ‘Grease In Your Hair (Birdie)’ at 55:58, and ‘Bathwater (Mount Auburn)’ at 1:32:20.
In a social media post shared last week (May 26), The National shared that they have been working on new material. “Rehearsals are underway,” they wrote on Instagram. “It’s great for the seven of us to finally be back together in a room working on music both fresh and familiar. Nos vemos en Pamplona.”
Guitarist Bryce Dessner previously confirmed that the band were working on their next album – the follow-up to 2019’s ‘I Am Easy To Find’ – although he “wasn’t sure when new music will come”. “It’s all very exciting: it kind of feels back to the classic National sound in a way, which was really just the five of us, and it has a lot of energy in it,” he explained. “Maybe it’s like bursting out of the closed doors of COVID or something? I don’t know. But we’re excited and I would think it would be imminent at some point.”
The National’s summer tour plans continue with shows at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound on Friday (June 3), followed by headline shows and festival appearances across Europe and North America. The band will perform at London’s All Points East in August, alongside dates in Manchester and Edinburgh. Find more information and tickets for their UK shows here.