It’s no secret that Matt Berninger has good taste—his recent collaborators include Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and CHVRCHES, after all—and he only made the matter clearer over the weekend with a cover of Big Thief’s “Not.” Berninger performed the lead single off Big Thief’s second acclaimed album of the year, Two Hands, at the Dream Serenade benefit in Toronto, which raises funds for Toronto-area children with disabilities and their caregivers.
His rendition switches things up with a searing trumpet solo and includes a charming false start as Berninger fudges the lyrics at the very beginning of the song (a classic move from The National frontman, who is known to use a teleprompter onstage). Berninger also debuted songs from his recently announced forthcoming solo album, Serpentine Prison (release date TBA), at the event. The record will follow The National’s latest, I Am Easy to Find, which featured a bevy of incredible female vocalists (including Gail Ann Dorsey, Lisa Hannigan, Sharon Van Etten and Kate Stables). Serpentine Prison was arranged and produced by soul legend Booker T. Jones, and promises appearances from Berninger’s “brilliant friends”:
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! Booker’s incredibly inspiring memoir, Time Is Tight, is out 10/29. NYTimes link in bio. = @oldstyleguitarshop
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Watch Matt Berninger perform “Not” and a new tune, “Loved So Little,” below. Further down, you’ll find Daytrotter sessions from The National and Big Thief both.