The National’s Matt Berninger has announced his debut solo album Serpentine Prison will be released on October 2. It will be released via Book Records, a new imprint in conjunction with Concord Records formed by Berninger and the record’s producer Booker T. Jones.

Along with the official announcement comes the release of the album’s first single and title track, “Serpentine Prison.” Fans of The National won’t have too much adjusting to do here, although there’s a more meditative personal approach here, with a minimal but effective sound design that allows his vocals to flourish in an Americana/folk rock fashion.

The song was actually 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.

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).

Find the official music video for the track available to watch below. It was directed, shot and edited by Matt’s brother Tom Berninger and Chris Sgroi, filmed at Earthstar Creation Center, Venice, CA.







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