Purple Mountains

This self-titled debut marks the return to music of poet, performer and cult hero David Berman, after a lengthy 11-year sabbatical. He has been much missed.

His previous band, the haunting lo-fi country twangers Silver Jews released half a dozen gloriously ramshackle albums from 1994’s Starlite Walker through to 2008’s Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, and this new Drag City release is a welcome addition to his wry, sorrowful canon. Lead single All My Happiness Is Gone sets the tone and reveals Berman has lost none of his songwriting skills: the man is a great lyricist.

The pleasure is taken with the pain throughout this personal and poignant collection, with I Loved Being My Mother’s Son a heart-wrenching highlight, rivalled closely by the plaintive beauty of Snow Is Falling In Manhattan.

9/10

Gary Tipp

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