The National’s Matt Berninger Announces Debut Solo Album ‘Serpentine Prison’ & Shares Title Track

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The National frontman Matt Berninger will release his debut solo album, Serpentine Prison, on October 2. Legendary musician Booker T. Jones produced the album, which features the title track lead single.

The album will be the first release on Jones and Berninger’s new Concord Records imprint Book Records. Berninger enlisted a number of guest musicians, including Jones, Andrew Bird, Mike Brewer, Hayden Desser, Teddy Jones, Sean O’Brien, Scott Devendorf (The National), Kyle Resnick and Ben Lanz (The National, Beirut), Matt Barrick and Walter Martin (The Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena), Matt Sheehy (EL VY, Lost Lander) and Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers).

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Beninger shared the following statement regarding the title track:

The song “Serpentine Prison” was written in December 2018 about a week after recording The National’s 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. 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.

The video for “Serpentine Prison,” directed by Tom Berninger and Chris Sgroi and shot at Earthstar Creation Center in Venice, California, can be viewed below:

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