Today, Matt Berninger — frontman of the alt-rock band, The National — announced his highly anticipated debut solo album, Serpentine Prison, is due October 2. The album, produced by famed Memphis multi-instrumentalist, Booker T. Jones, will be released via Book Records, a new imprint founded by Berninger and Jones, in conjunction with Concord Records.
In celebration of this announcement, has released the title track of the album today — listen here — as well as the accompanying music video. The video was directed, shot, and edited by Tom Berninger and Chris Sgroi and was filmed at Earthstar Creation Center in Venice, CA.
The new 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).
“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.”
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