The National frontman and guitarist Matt Berninger has released a brand new single and corresponding lyric video “One More Second,” which will appear on the rocker’s upcoming full-length solo LP Serpentine Prison. The album will mark Berninger’s first as a solo artist and will be released on October 16 via Book’s Records, a new label founded by Berninger and the album’s producer Booker T. Jones in collaboration with Concord Records.
“One More Second” sees Berninger bring out muted guitar progressions, lounge-style drums and low-toned vocals while steadily building towards the arrangement’s triumphant finale. The song is equally a remnant of David Bowie’s more subtle performances while also bringing in the pop-rock melodies often found in The National’s catalogue. It all comes together for some great songwriting that Berninger has been known for over the last 20 years.
Discussing the song’s sentiment, Berninger admits he had pop elements in mind for the track from the start. “I wrote “One More Second” with Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander, EL VY) with the intention for it to be a kind of answer to Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” or sort of the other side of that conversation,” explains Berninger. “I just wanted to write one of those classic, simple, desperate love songs that sound great in your car.”
The new song follows the album’s previous singles “Distant Axis” and title track “Serpentine Prison,” which Pitchfork claimed was “like hearing a longtime denizen of a backroom bar muttering to the strains of a country ballad on the jukebox.” Serpentine Prison is currently available for pre-sale.
Berninger formed acclaimed rock band The National in 1999 and won the 2017 GRAMMY Award for Best Alternative Music Album with the band for their Sleep Well Beast LP. He also collaborated with Brent Knopf under the moniker EL VY for the 2015 release, Return to the Moon. Most recently, Berninger appeared in the 2019 film Between Two Ferns: The Movie and teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers for the song “Walking on a String” on the film’s soundtrack.