Published: Fri, August 09, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

RIP David Berman of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains

RIP David Berman of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains

On Wednesday evening, Drag City Records announced that David Berman, the singer-songwriter behind the beloved rock projects Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, passed away at the age of 52. Malkmus went on to form the indie rock group Pavement, but continued playing with Silver Jews, which had a number of different musicians over the years. Silver Jews started out as a recording project and didn't tour their first four albums: 1994's Starlite Walker, 1996's The Natural Bridge, 1998's American Water, and 2001's Bright Flight.

Berman passed away yesterday, August 7th, 2019.

After a ten-year absence from music, Berman, who persevered through decades of well-documented mental-health and addiction issues, returned earlier this year with a new band, Purple Mountains, and a widely acclaimed album of the same name. No cause of death has been announced. The band was formed in the New York City area (Hoboken, New Jersey), but Berman, Malkmus, and Nastanovich had all previously attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA together.

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He most recently formed Purple Mountains, who released their debut, self-titled LP this past July via Drag City Records.

Berman was the only constant member of the Silver Jews, which he founded in 1989. Berman wrote two books of poetry, "Actual Air", and "The Portable February". He dissolved the band in 2009, saying at the time that he was motivated to right the wrongs of his conservative lobbyist father, Richard Berman.

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