As Berninger noted on Twitter, his “Let It Be” is not a cover of the Beatles tune, although he added he wrote it with Mike Brewer, whom he called “the Paul McCartney of southern Ohio.” Berninger’s “Let It Be” is a poignant ballad that grows richer with soft horns, harmonica, and shimmering electric guitars as Berninger sings, “Five o’clock in the morning and sixteen billion feet above the ground/Sometimes I think that I’m my own worst enemy/Sometimes I can’t let it be.”
“Let It Be” will be one of a handful of previously unreleased originals included on the Serpentine Prison deluxe edition, although the record will also feature a handful of covers. Berninger originally envisioned the album as a covers record, but eventually shifted his focus to original tunes after linking up with producer Booker T. Jones. The covers on the deluxe edition of Serpentine Prison include the Velvet Underground’s “European Son,” Eddie Floyd’s “Big Bird,” Morphine’s “In Spite of Me,” and “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” which has been recorded by the Casinos, Bettye Swann, Eddy Arnold, and more.
The deluxe edition of Serpentine Prison will be released digitally March 12th; a vinyl version is available to preorder and is expected to ship May 21st.