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:
We couldn't be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we've ever known is gone. Rest easy, David. pic.twitter.com/5n5bctcu4j
— 𝕯𝖗𝖆𝖌 𝕮𝖎𝖙𝖞 (@dragcityrecords) August 7, 2019
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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