- 08 Aug 19
The news broke late last night that David Berman had passed away, aged 52.
As reported by Hot Press earlier this morning, Silver Jews mainstay David Berman passed away, aged 52.
Following the Silver Jews' disbanding in 2008, Berman started operating as Purple Mountains and released a self-titled album in July that was awash with fragile beauty.
His former bandmate Stephen Malkmus wrote: "His death is fucking dark... depression is crippling. He was a one of a kinder. The songs he wrote were his main passion, especially at the end."
Since the news broke, tributes continued to pour in for the American musician, singer, poet and cartoonist, with many fellow artists noting the impression that Berman's particular poetic style had left on them
American indie-rock musician Soccer Mommy shared one of her favourite Berman poems:
my fav david berman poem :( so sad to see him go pic.twitter.com/BPnYsJPwCH
— soccer mommy (@sopharela) August 8, 2019
Californian band The Mountain Goats wrote:
I could sit here all day and quote memorable David Berman couplets and never grow tired. He had no competition. He was the competition.
— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) August 7, 2019
Kurt Vile published an extensive poet in tribute to David Berman on his Instagram account, noting that "his music and lyrics and vocals have touched me to this day and are still growing in significance."
View this post on Instagram
So crushed. I grew up on David Berman and the Silver Jews catalogue in mostly real time... in such a way that his music and lyrics and vocals have touched me to this day and are still growing in significance (and of course a higher high of nostalgia on the side with each revisitation... and there has been so much revisiting these last few years I must say). I was so excited for these upcoming shows and how amazing the new Purple Mountains record is. I was so stoked and so proud of Jarvis and Jeremy and the @woodsist gang for knocking this album outta the park. David's music always hit on a basic human gut level just in the power of his lyrics and voice alone... in a way no other modern artist of my generation has been able to... We were friends but I was looking forward to hopefully becoming closer and was so excited to see him around with purple mountains and hopefully play on “trains across the sea” in philly. Speaking of that tune (and others)... I’ve been singing a few silver jews songs to my daughters at night before they go to bed... since they were little... (it was a no brainer in the dna of my upbringing...) they were always affected by Cassie’s beautiful voice in “Tennessee” and would wanna sing that part... to the extent the first song my oldest daughter Awilda sang from memory (and later we recorded a version of) was "trains across the sea" and she performed "new orleans" at her co-op talent show. When my family came thru Nashville David and Cassie took us in graciously and David bought the girls a Mr Games style trinket I guess you might call a diorama music box (?) either way it will be cherished always. Love forever to Cassie and David from Kurt, Suzanne, Awilda and Delphine. “Snow is falling in Manhattan...” “I loved being my mother’s son...” “when god was young... he made the wind and the sun. And since then it’s been a slow education. And you got that one idea again.........” “oh... oh oh... I’m lightening. Oh... oh oh... I’m rain. Oh... oh oh... it’s frightening... I’m not the same. I’m not the same. I’m not the same.” ❤️ God bless @dragcityrecords for releasing so much (and all) of his material. R.I.P. David Berman. You will be missed.
Very very sad to hear David Berman has passed away. A massive talent and a huge influence on us. RIP
— Aaron Dessner (@aaron_dessner) August 7, 2019