The National’s Matt Berninger Announces His Debut Solo Album, ‘Serpentine Prison’

Matt Berninger has occasionally made music outside of The National, like when he featured on Chvrches’ “My Enemy,” or when he recently teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers for their Between Two Ferns movie collaboration “Walking On A String.” Now it looks like he’s ready to put out a full-blown solo album: Berninger took to Instagram to reveal that he is working on his first solo record, titled Serpentine Prison.

Berninger shared a photo of himself with Booker T. Jones and wrote, “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!”

A new profile of Jones from The New York Times offers some info about how Berninger came to work with him on his new album. Berninger said, “When I was growing up, my dad only had about five records. I remember Judy Collins, Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, and I remember [Willie Nelson’s 1978 Jones-produced album Stardust].” The piece goes on to read, “Berninger wanted someone who could corral nearly 20 guest musicians, and someone who could provide the late-night, timeless atmosphere that ‘Stardust’ conjures. He immediately thought of Jones, whom he had met during a collaboration with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings in 2013, even though he didn’t realize that Jones was the co-visionary on Nelson’s album at first.”

There’s no word yet on who those “nearly 20 guest musicians” might be, but in recent years, Berninger has worked with Sharon Van Etten, Mike Mills, This Is The Kit, Chvrches, The Walkmen’s Walter Martin, Bridgers, and his The National bandmates, among others.

Check out our live review of The National’s recent performance at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre here.

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