The National frontman Matt Berninger has shared his emotional new solo single, ‘Let It Be’.
Berninger released his debut solo album, Serpentine Prison, back in October through Book Records and ‘Let It Be’ appears on the forthcoming deluxe edition of the record, which arrives on March 12th. Commenting on the single release, Berninger left the explanation deliberately vague and open to interpretation by the listener, stating: “This is a new song about an old frenemy. Not Paul McCartney or Westerberg.”
The track is cut from a different sonic cloth to The National, and the same can be said from all songs on Serpentine Prison. The solo project feels like a true solo project and has allowed Berninger to experiment with more stripped-back and naked sounds, which allows his voice to live in a different place to the atmospherical world of The National.
He distinctively croons on the first verse, “Some things I cannot hide, No matter how hard I try, Some things I can’t even see, You say to me let it go, Hey lighten up a little, take a joke, Sometimes I can’t let it be.”
Legendary Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones produced the record. Previously commenting on the origins of the album, Berninger shared: “I sent [friend and collaborator Booker T. Jones] a few rough demos of originals that I had started working on with some old friends, including the songs’ Serpentine Prison’ and ‘Distant Axis’.
“Booker responded to those demos right away and encouraged me to keep writing and digging deeper into that stuff. Six months later we had twelve originals and seven covers. Everyone I had been working with on these songs came to Venice, CA, and we recorded it all in 14 days.”
Although sonically speaking, Berninger is operating in new territory with his solo material, and on ‘Let It Be’, lyrically, he is still writing in the same way he always has done. If you’re one of the many who has felt profoundly moved by his work with The National, then ‘Let It Be’ will still hit the spot even if it is a departure from the sound deliciously concocted by the Dessner brothers.