Silver Jews And Purple Mountains Songwriter David Berman’s Death Has Been Ruled A Suicide

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Silver Jews and Purple Mountains songwriter David Berman‘s death has been ruled a suicide.

A spokesperson for the New York City medical examiner spoke to The New York Times confirming the news. Berman hanged himself, according to the report. He was 52.

The singer, songwriter, and poet passed away on August 7. “A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone,” Berman’s longtime record label Drag City wrote that night. “Rest easy, David.”

Berman was an indie icon, beloved for his work in Silver Jews and his recent project Purple Mountains. In addition to his songwriting, he was also a published poet. His Purple Mountains album was released in July, and the band was set to begin a North American tour this weekend.

Many artists in the indie realm have spoken out since news of Berman’s death broke. “He was a one of a kinder,” Silver Jews founding member and Berman’s close friend Stephen Malkmus wrote. “Hope death equals peace cuz he could sure use it.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or life-threatening emotional distress, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to for an additional list of resources.