David Berman, the poet, singer, and songwriter best known for his work in bands Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, has passed away on August 7 at the age of 52.
We couldn't be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we've ever known is gone. Rest easy, David. pic.twitter.com/5n5bctcu4j
— 𝕯𝖗𝖆𝖌 𝕮𝖎𝖙𝖞 (@dragcityrecords) August 7, 2019
“We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this,” Berman’s label Drag City confirmed on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. “David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.”
Berman formed Silver Jews in the late ’80s alongside Pavement members Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Silver Jews released six albums together between 1994 and 2008, and Berman was the band’s only consistent member throughout their frequent lineup changes. Apart from his career in music, Berman was also an accomplished poet — his first collection of poetry, Actual Air, was released in 1999.
A decade after the disbandment of Silver Jews, Berman returned to music with the new project Purple Mountains in 2019. The Purple Mountains LP was released in July 2019, and Berman was set to begin a tour with the band starting this weekend.
Berman is a beloved figure in indie rock and has touched many people’s lives with his music and poetry. His cause of death is not yet known at this time.
Revisit our interview with David Berman here.