National’s “Tropic Morning News” Is Our Song of the Week

Song of the Week broke down and talked about the song we can’t get out of our heads every week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from new artists, check out our New Sounds on Spotify playlist. This week, The National helped us cut through the noise on the “Tropic Morning News.”


January is not officially reset time. Especially in recent years, it has become a month of new routines, setting intentions, and inventing light – for better or worse. While many of us try to adopt healthier habits, some habits are harder to break than others: Rolling over, digging the phone off the bedside table, and starting the obligatory morning doomscroll are the focus of “Tropic Morning News,” the new song from The National.

Co-written by lead singer Matt Berninger and his wife, Carin Besser, the first single from The National’s upcoming album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein (due April 28), begged for a pause, urging us to cut through the noise and accept what was happening in front of us.

The deceptively sunny title is paired with a deceptively upbeat sound, not as sad as some might expect from the band, but still heavy with the drama of modern man. It’s in the lyrics that Berninger explains the real situation: “The idea of ​​discussing the darkness of the news in such a light way opened something in me,” he shared in a statement. “It becomes a song about having a hard time expressing yourself, and trying to connect with someone when the noise of the world drowns out any potential for conversation.”

Recorded in part in Hamburg and featuring a light orchestral flourish, the song captures and reflects the repetition that we all seem to live on a daily basis. It might be easy to lean too heavily on the dark theme, but there’s a hopeful thread running through “Tropic Morning News,” especially before the final chorus arrives: “I’m here lying by the sea/ Sounding the ocean/ Let me know if you can come over and work on the controls for a while.”

While the star-studded track list of First Two Pages of Frankenstein promising songs with Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Sufjan Stevens, The National chose to lead a track that cuts to the heart of this current moment and encourages us to try to prioritize meaningful connection, too .

— Mary Siroky
Contributing Editor






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