Silver Jews’ frontman David Berman has died, aged 52

The celebrated indie singer-songwriter had recently released new material as Purple Mountains.

David Berman of Silver Jews singing

Image: Gary Wolstenholme / Redferns

David Berman, the principal architect of indie-rock trio Silver Jews, has died aged 52. The news was confirmed by the band’s former record label Drag City in a tweet:

The prolific singer-songwriter formed Silver Jews in 1989, alongside Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Although the group went through a series of line-up changes, Berman remained a constant. He featured across the band’s six critically-acclaimed studio albums that spanned the years of 1994 to 2008. 1998’s American Water, in particular, saw Berman’s introspective lyrics meld with country-tinged indie-rock to create a masterpiece of a record.

A year after 2008’s Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, Berman dissolved Silver Jews, citing the need to move on as a primary reason. The artist was dormant for a decade before announcing a new project named Purple Mountains earlier this year. In May, the newly formed band released their first single All My Happiness Is Gone, a track which preceded their full-length LP in July.

Listen to Purple Mountains’ first and final album below:

For more music news, click here.


Get the latest news, reviews and features to your inbox.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

Join our mailing list

Sign Up Now

© 2023 is part of NME Networks.