Photo by Chris Sgroi
The National’s Matt Berninger has announced his debut solo record, titled Serpentine Prison. The album is set to be released on Oct. 2. Legendary Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones produced the record.
According to a press release, “the album features contributions from a wide array of notable artists, including Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Jonathan FireEater), 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 FireEater), 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).”
In addition to the album announcement, Berninger has shared the title track and its accompanying video.
“The song ‘Serpentine Prison’ was written in December 2018 about a week after recording The National’s I Am Easy to Find,” Berninger explained in a press release. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Watch the video for “Serpentine Prison” below, and download or stream to song here.