MATT BERNINGER ENLISTS RISING FILMMAKER HOPPER MILLS TO DIRECT IMPRESSIONISTIC VIDEO FOR LET IT BE
DELUXE EDITION OF BERNINGER’S SERPENTINE PRISON IS RELEASED DIGITALLY TODAY
LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE
Toronto, ON – March 12, 2021 – Today, Matt Berninger unveiled the video for Let It Be. The song is one of six bonus tracks that appear on the expanded deluxe edition of Serpentine Prison, The National frontman’s critically lauded solo debut, which is now available via all digital service providers. Watch the video here and listen to Serpentine Prison here.
The dreamlike, impressionistic clip, directed by 8-year-old filmmaker Hopper Mills, features brief film snippets of Berninger interwoven with abstract landscapes, geometric patterns, and objets d’art punctuated with vivid swirls of colour and bursts of smoke.
“I wanted a video that captures the creative fearlessness we have when we’re young before self-judgment and doubt kick in,” said Berninger. “Hopper and I have been working together for a while on another project and I knew they were the only one for the job.”
Let It Be, released last month as a single, was warmly received by critics. Writing in Rolling Stone, Jon Blistein called it “a poignant ballad that grows richer with soft horns, harmonica, and shimmering electric guitars as Berninger sings, ‘Five o’clock in the morning and sixteen billion feet above the ground/Sometimes I think that I’m my own worst enemy/Sometimes I can’t let it be.’” Brooklyn Vegan’s Andrew Sacher pronounced it “gorgeous,” and noted, “It's a classic Matt Berninger-sounding ballad; if you liked his solo album or Matt/The National in general, you should definitely listen to this too.”
The expanded edition of Serpentine Prison, which was previously available as a limited-edition double vinyl album, features six bonus tracks, including two originals as well as interpretations of songs by Eddie Floyd, Morphine, Bettye Swan, and the Velvet Underground. A new, limited pressing on neon chartreuse vinyl is available exclusively from Berninger's website.
The album, produced by famed Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones, was released in October 2020 via Book's Records, a new imprint formed by Berninger and Jones in association with Concord Records.
Since its release, Serpentine Prison has inspired a great deal of praise.
The NME's Andrew Trendell called the album "an intimate and generous offering from one of 21st Century rock's most prominent voices," and wryly suggests, "If you're one of those weirdos who doesn't put their records in alphabetical artist order, then Serpentine Prison should be filed next to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' The Boatman's Call and Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker as a lesson in stately, direct and personal songwriting prowess."
Writing in the UK's The Line of Best Fit, Steven Lofton observed, "Berninger can take those feelings - the one's where you're unpacking the heft of life; its coarse howl reverberating around the hollowed and hallowed halls of a heart - and give them a spirit that dances like poetry and strikes like fangs."
Consequence of Sound’s Jordan Blum called it “consistently moving, tasteful, and alluring,” while the AV Club’s Alex McLevy applauded the album for its “timeless flavor that traverses decades of musical influences and singer-songwriter flourishes, ending up somewhere between ’70s confessional balladry and smoky barroom poetry, underlined by gently drifting rhythms and achingly earnest lyricism.”