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

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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:

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