Sunday 18 August 2019

Silver Jews frontman David Berman dies aged 52

The death was announced by his label, Drag City Records.

Singer-songwriter David Berman, best known as the frontman and lyricist of indie band Silver Jews, has died at the age of 52 (Drag City Records/PA)
Singer-songwriter David Berman, best known as the frontman and lyricist of indie band Silver Jews, has died at the age of 52 (Drag City Records/PA)

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Singer-songwriter David Berman, best known as the frontman and lyricist of indie band Silver Jews, has died at the age of 52.

Berman’s record label, Drag City Records, announced the news on Twitter.

In a statement, it said: “We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today.

“A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.”

No cause of death was given.

Berman, who had battled substance abuse and mental health problems, formed Silver Jews in New York City in 1989 with Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich.

The acclaimed group released six albums before splitting in 2009. Berman released a new album in July with his band Purple Mountains.

The group was set to go on tour on Saturday. Malkmus, also known as part of indie rock band Pavement, was among those to pay tribute.

Referencing a tweet he had posted before news of Berman’s death had been announced which said “bad stuff is happening to friends”, Malkmus said “depression is crippling”.

He wrote: “I didn’t know about my friend DCB when I wrote this must have been in the air .His death is f***ing dark ..depression is crippling.. he was a one of a kinder the songs he wrote were his main passion esp at the end. Hope death equals peace cuz he could sure use it.”

Nastanovich, a member of Pavement and former member of Silver Jews, also paid tribute, saying in a statement: “For most of my life, I was amazed by David as a person, a humorist and a writer.

“It was enlightening to have such a talented friend at a young age and realise that the talent wasn’t always a blessing.”

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