David Berman of NYC indie-rock institution Silver Jews is back with his first new album in 11 years, to be released under his new “nom-de-rock” Purple Mountains, whose self-titled debut is set to release July 12 through Drag City Records. Berman has also released a new music video for his single “All My Happiness is Gone.”
Paying homage to Berman’s former band, the video alternates between live footage of Silver Jews performances and clips of Berman playing the new song, which was released on 12” vinyl last week.
The video (dir. Brent Stewart and Matt Boyd) begins with blurred, saturated shots with a home video sort of sensibility, followed by two minutes of somber noodling that crescendos into a more rounded production and the opening line, “Friends are warmer than gold when you’re old.”
With a hollowed-out, gutted feel, Berman wields his words with biting precision against the hazy backdrop of an acoustic guitar.
“Lately I tend to make strangers wherever I go,” he sings, a heartbreaking confession of the difficulties of maintaining adult friendships and the loneliness that perpetuates.
In fact, if the song were to be summed up in one word, it would be “lonely.”
Silver Jews disbanded in 2009, a year after their 2008 album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea.
“I always said we would stop before we got bad,” Berman wrote in a since-deleted post on a Silver Jews online bulletin board. “If I continue to record I might accidentally write the answer song to ‘Shiny Happy People.’ What, you thought I was going to hang on to the bitter end like Marybeth Hamilton?”
Purple Mountains has also announced a tour, which will include Berman’s first live shows in a decade.
Take a look below to watch the “All My Happiness is Gone” video, and find the Purple Mountains tracklist and album art further down, along with Berman’s full tour schedule.
Purple Mountains Tracklist:
01. That’s Just the Way I Feel
02. All My Happiness Is Gone
03. Darkness and Cold
04. Snow Is Falling in Manhattan
05. Margaritas at the Mall
06. She’s Making Friends, I’m Turning Stranger
07. I Loved Being My Mother’s Son
08. Nights That Won’t Happen
09. Storyline Fever
10. Maybe I’m the Only One for Me
Purple Mountains Album Art:
Purple Mountains Tour Dates:
10 – Pine Plains, N.Y. @ Huichica Fest
11 – Jersey City, N.J. @ White Eagle Hall
12 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ World Cafe Live
14 – Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat
15 – Asheville, N.C. @ The Grey Eagle
16 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Pilot Light
17 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Mercy Lounge
19 – Louisville, Ky. @ Odeon
20 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
21 – Iowa City, Iowa @ The Mill
23 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Cedar Cultural Center
24-25 – Chicago, Ill. @ Sleeping Village
27 – Toronto, Ont. @ Lee’s Palace
28 – Montreal, Que. @ La Sala Rossa
30 – Cambridge, Mass. @ The Sinclair
31 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Murmrr Theatre
06 – Raleigh, N.C. @ Hopscotch Festival
13 – Seattle, Wash. @ Neptune Theatre
14 – Walla Walla, Wash. @ Huichica Walla Walla
15 – Portland, Ore. @ Wonder Ballroom
18 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Chapel
22 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Lodge Room