Matt Berninger and Booker T. Jones
Image: Chris Sgroi

The National Frontman Matt Berninger Announces Debut Solo Album ‘Serpentine Prison’, Shares Title Track

The National frontman Matt Berninger has officially announced his debut solo album Serpentine Prison will be released this October. It’ll be released via Book Records, a new imprint formed by Berninger along with Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones, in conjunction with Concord, and Caroline here in Australia.

Per a press release, Serpentine Prison was produced by Jones and features collaborations with the likes of Andrew Bird, The Walkmen’s Matt Barrick and Walter Martin, his The National bandmate Scott Devendorf and more.

To coincide with the announce, Berninger has shared the album’s title track alongside a video directed by Berninger’s brother Tom and Chris Sgroi. The first track to be written for Berninger’s solo album, it was written back in December 2018, a week after recording The National’s last album I Am Easy to Find.

“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 explained.

“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.”

Berninger is set to tour Australia with The National in December, after postponing planned April dates due to the coronavirus pandemic. The band will be joined on those dates by Phoebe Bridgers, with whom Berninger released a collaborative single titled ‘Walking on a Dream’ with for the Between Two Ferns film last year.

Watch the video for ‘Serpentine Prison’ below. The album of the same name is out October 2.

Image: Chris Sgroi

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