The National frontman Matt Berninger has announced his solo debut album Serpentine Prison, which is set to be released via Book Records on October 2. A music video for the title track directed, shot and edited by Tom Berninger and Chris Sgroi, has also been released. This visual was filmed at the Earthstar Creation Center in Venice, California. The upcoming album will be produced by famed multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones.
“Serpentine Prison” is shot in black and white, opening up with a shot of Venice beach while a seagull hops around. The video then transitions into shots of Berninger performing the song, which is accompanied by an acoustic guitar, some horns, keyboards and light drums. Berninger’s lyrics are largely introspective, reflecting on his sobriety, isolation and his own feelings of self-doubt.
“The song ‘Serpentine Prison’ was written in December 2018 about a week after recording The National’s I Am Easy to Find,” Berninger wrote in the YouTube description for the song. “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 National have recently been forced to cancel their 2020 Hometown festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Berninger recently released a cover of Mercury Rev’s “Holes” and teamed up with singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers for the song “Walking on a String” from the film Between Two Ferns: The Movie.
Berninger, along with Frank Turner, Young the Giant and Aloe Blacc performed at the Lil Dicky-hosted benefit concert “Safe and Sound” yesterday.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna