Matt Berninger, frontman of the National, has announced plans to release his debut solo album Serpentine Prison. The musician revealed the news via Instagram, also confirming that the songs were produced and arranged by Booker T. Jones.
“More about it soon but basically I’m the luckiest man in the universe with lots of brilliant friends who can play instermints,” Berninger wrote. “Not worthy!” He also directed fans to Jones’ upcoming memoir, Time Is Tight, which is out October 29th. Berninger has not shared a release date for the album.
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Kind, patient, visionary genius @bookertjonesmusic produced and arranged my solo record. It’s called Serpentine Prison.🐍 More about it soon but basically I’m the luckiest man in the universe with lots of brilliant friends who can play instermints. Not worthy! 🙏🏻📖 💕🧤 Booker’s incredibly inspiring memoir, Time Is Tight, is out 10/29. NYTimes link in bio. 📸= @oldstyleguitarshop
The news comes the day after Berninger released “Walking on a String,” a solo single featuring Phoebe Bridgers. It comes from the Netflix film Between Two Ferns: The Movie. Berninger and Bridgers recorded the track at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles and performed it during a scene in the Zach Galifianakis-starring movie.
“It’s a song about how our problems and anxieties can build up and feel like a tangled inescapable web,” Berninger told Rolling Stone. “Sometimes all it takes is a friend with some perspective and patience to help us see our way out of our own messes. It’s also just a love song between a spider and a moth.”
He added, “[Director] Scott Aukerman called and told me he and Zach had an important scene in a honky-tonk bar in middle America. They needed a band and a song and said I could do whatever I wanted. My wife Carin and I wrote the lyrics really quickly and I called Tony Berg to produce. I didn’t realize he was in the studio with Phoebe at the time, but she graciously let me crash her sessions and that’s when we had the idea to turn it into a duet.”