The two artists finally confirmed their collaboration last week after months of teasing the song.
The National's Matt Berninger said in a statement about "Weird Goodbyes": "It's about letting go of the past and moving on, then being overwhelmed by second thoughts."
Aaron Dessner of the group emphasized that "Weird Goodbyes" was one of the first brand-new songs they wrote while creating the single. As usual, I was abusing the drum machines when I came across a beat that stuck in my head and seemed to be something Bryan could only play naturally. 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.”
The National have been performing "Weird Goodbyes" live since late May. They played it for the first time in Pamplona, Spain on May 28 – the first national show in three years – where it was billed on the setlist as "Bathwater (Mount Auburn)".
The first show to have it printed on the setlist as "Weird Goodbyes" was the Cooperstown, New York date of their current North American tour, which took place on July 20.