Published May 20, 2020Since prolific indie rock group the National can't spend the summer together as initially planned, the members have been forced to send their energy elsewhere. For the band's Matt Berninger, that apparently means the announcement of his debut solo album.
The album is called Serpentine Prison, and today's announcement arrives alongside a video for its title track.
"The song 'Serpentine Prison' was written in December 2018 about a week after recording the National's I Am Easy to Find," Berninger said in a statement. "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."
He continued, "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."
In addition to Booker T. Jones, O'Brien and Whitford, the album will include appearances from Matt Barrick (the Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Andrew Bird, Mike Brewer, Hayden Desser, Scott Devendorf (the National), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Teddy Jones, Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena), Ben Lanz (the National, Beirut), Walter Martin (the Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan), Kyle Resnick (the National, Beirut) and Matt Sheehy (EL VY, Lost Lander).
Serpentine Prison will arrive on October 2 via Book Records, a new label that is a collaboration between Berninger and Booker T. Jones, alongside Concord Records. Watch the video for the title track below.