MATT BERNINGER (THE NATIONAL)
DEBUT SOLO ALBUM
DUE 2ND OCTOBER
PRODUCED BY BOOKER T. JONES
TITLE TRACK PREMIERES TODAY
Listen to/purchase the track https://found.ee/MB_Serpentine
Serpentine Prison, the debut solo record from Matt Berninger—front man of internationally acclaimed group The National — is due 2nd October. The album, produced by renowned Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. & The MG’s fame) will be released via Book Records, a new imprint formed by Berninger and Jones in conjunction with Concord Records.
In celebration of the upcoming release—the first on the new imprint—Berninger is premiering the video for the Serpentine Prison’s title track today. Directed, shot and edited by Tom Berninger and Chris Sgroi, the video was filmed at Earthstar Creation Center, Venice, CA.
“The song ‘Serpentine Prison’ was written in December 2018, about a week after recording The National’s I Am Easy to Find,” Berninger explains about the new track. “For a long time, I had been writing songs for movies and musicals and other projects where I needed to get inside someone else’s head and convey another person’s feelings. I liked doing that, but I was ready to dig back into my own garbage and this was the first thing that came out.”
Berninger continues, “The title is from a twisting sewer pipe that drains into the ocean near LAX. There’s a cage on the pipe to keep people from climbing out to sea. I worked on the song with Sean O’Brien and Harrison Whitford and recorded it about six months later with Booker T. Jones producing. It feels like an epilogue, so I named the record after it and put it last.”
The album features contributions from a wide array of notable artists, including Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Andrew Bird, Mike Brewer, Hayden Desser, Scott Devendorf (The National), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Booker T. Jones, Teddy Jones, Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena), Ben Lanz(The National, Beirut), Walter Martin (The Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Sean O’Brien, Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan), Kyle Resnick (The National, Beirut), Matt Sheehy (EL VY, Lost Lander) and Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers). Additional production on the album was provided by Sean O’Brien.
In addition to his duties with The National (with whom he won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album for 2017’s Sleep Well Beast), Berninger has also collaborated with Brent Knopf under the moniker EL VY on their 2015 release Return to the Moon. In 2019, Berninger appeared in Between Two Ferns: The Movie and teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers to contribute the song “Walking on a String” to the film’s soundtrack.