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Posted September 16, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

The National’s Matt Berninger Gets a Little Help From Friends

Matt Berninger photo by Chantal Anderson
Matt Berninger photo by Chantal Anderson

In anticipation of Serpentine Prison, his upcoming debut solo record, the National’s Matt Berninger has just released the moody tune “One More Second” alongside a lyric video. 

“I wrote ‘One More Second’ with Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander, EL VY) with the intention for it to be a kind of answer to Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You,’ or sort of the other side of that conversation,” says Berninger in a press release.

I just wanted to write one of those classic, simple, desperate love songs that sound great in your car.

Produced by famed Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones, Serpentine Prison, which is due out Oct. 16, will be released via Book’s Records, a new imprint formed by Berninger and Jones in conjunction with Concord Records. 

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, LNZNDRF), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Booker T. Jones, Teddy Jones, Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena), Ben Lanz (TThe National, Beirut, LNZNDRF), 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.

Berninger recently debuted the album’s title track alongside a video directed, shot and edited by Tom Berninger and Chris Sgroi.

Berninger also premiered the album track “Distant Axis.”

“I sent [friend and collaborator Booker T. Jones] a few rough demos of originals that I had started working on with some old friends, including the songs ‘Serpentine Prison’ and ‘Distant Axis,’” says Berninger. “Booker responded to those demos right away and encouraged me to keep writing and digging deeper into that stuff. Six months later we had twelve originals and seven covers. Everyone I had been working with on these songs came to Venice, CA, and we recorded it all in fourteen days.”

In addition to his duties as frontman of the National, with whom he won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album for 2017’s Sleep Well Beast, Berninger also collaborated with Brent Knopf (Ramona Falls, Menomena) under the moniker EL VY for the 2015’S Return to the Moon. I

Last year, Berninger appeared in Between Two Ferns: The Movie and teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers to contribute “Walking on a String” to the film’s soundtrack.

Photo credit: Chantal Anderson


Jeff

 
Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.