Your Mind Is Not Your Friend: Featuring Phoebe Bridgers

The Nationals album cover is depicted in the image for their 
studio album First Two Pages of Frankenstein.

The National’s album cover is depicted in the image for their studio album First Two Pages of Frankenstein.

American indie rock band The National officially released their fourth single, “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend,” on April 12th, 2023. The single is four minutes and twenty-four seconds long, featuring backing vocals in the chorus from American indie rock musician Phoebe Bridgers. Bridgers makes an appearance in the music video as well. In addition, the National has an upcoming album to be released on April 28th, 2023. The album will feature artists like Taylor Swift and Sufjan Stevens and two songs featuring Phoebe Bridgers.” Your Mind Is Not Your Friend” is the most vulnerable and transparent song out of all the other singles. The piece discusses the daily prolonged battle many people face due to mental illness, stress, and overthinking.
“Wow, this song! I love this. This song is heart-touching and relatable. It’s all about how your mind controls over you, and it can change your everyday lifestyle,” reflected Carly Ford-Stickney (11). The song uses repetition to convey the feeling of anticipation when our minds begin to plot against us, causing us to overthink and stress. The phrase “Don’t you understand?/Your mind is not your friend again” is repeated throughout the song, with slow-paced and mellow-sounding instrumentals accompanying the vocals. Furthermore, the line “It takes you by the hand and leaves you nowhere.” suggests that our minds can lead us down unproductive and harmful paths, despite our best intentions. “‘Your Mind Is Not Your Friend’ has a nice, enjoyable somber tone that, ironically, whisks your mind and thoughts away into your head as you once again ponder the lyricism and writing of Phoebe and The National,” expressed Hannah Daskal (12), an avid The National listener.

Matt Berninger of The National and Phoebe Bridgers are depicted in the image.

The song’s release was accompanied by a music video directed by Bridgers’ brother, Jackson Bridgers. Although most people expected Phoebe Bridgers to have her verse in this song, the outcome has satisfied fans. “It was really pretty; I was about to fall asleep listening to it,” reflected Mallorie Mccolloug h (11). Matt Berninger (songwriter and member of The National) shared how he gained inspiration for this new song from the support of his wife (also his co-writer), who helped him through his depression. He revealed she would advise him, “This isn’t you, this isn’t real, this is just your brain right now, your mind is not your friend.” “The song is a little slow, but I think that’s done intentionally as it discusses a serious topic like battling with one’s mind. So the backing track fits, and the vocals are well done,” says Nyciere Clark (11).
Overall, this collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers added an extra layer of vulnerability the song needed. Fans of The National can expect more meaningful music on their upcoming album. This single serves as a reminder to stay vigilant and grounded in reality and to seek support when needed.