Matt Berninger Covers Velvet Underground And Others On His Deluxe Version Of ‘Serpentine Prison’

Matt Berninger sometimes involves himself in musical endeavors outside of The National, but he went solo in his biggest way so far last year when he dropped a full solo album, Serpentine Prison. Today, he returns with a deluxe edition of the album, which adds six new tracks to the proceedings.

The majority of the new tracks aren’t originals, but covers, as Berninger took on the Velvet Underground’s “European Son,” Bettye Swan’s “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” Morphine’s “In Spite Of Me,” and Eddie Floyd’s “Big Bird.” Aside from those, there are also two new originals: “Let It Be” (which Berninger shared last month and which is not a Beatles cover) and “The End.”

Berninger previously told Uproxx that the process of creating Serpentine Prison actually began with covers, saying, “I wanted to do a bunch of covers just so I could get outside of my comfort zone. Then in that process with Booker [T. Jones], I sent him a few originals — there was one I wrote with Walt Martin, ‘Distant Axis,’ that he really, really was into. And that’s when he said, ‘Let’s start focusing on the originals.’ We ended up doing 12 originals and six covers in 14 days.”

Stream Serpentine Prison (Deluxe Edition) below and revisit our interview with Berninger here.