Indie-rock icon David Berman has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 52, his record label has confirmed.
To many, the name David Berman might not ring many bells, but to a large portion of the music world, he was something of an unsung hero.
First coming to prominence after forming Silver Jews in the early ’90s with Pavement members Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, Berman became known as something of a musical recluse, with his poetic lyrics making him an influential figure in the world of indie rock.
Releasing a number of records over the years, and dabbling in the world of the written word, Silver Jews only embarked on their first tour in 2005, with the group splitting up for good in 2009 upon Berman’s retirement from music.
In the time since, David Berman focused his efforts on “undoing a millionth of all the harm” his father – famed US lawyer and lobbyist Richard Berman – had done to the world, while also collaborating with The Avalanches, appearing on 2012’s ‘A Cowboy Overflow Of The Heart’, and ‘Saturday Night Inside Out’ from 2016’s Wildflower.
In May of this year, Berman made his long-awaited return to music, releasing the debut album from his new project, Purple Mountains, just last month. Tragically, Drag City Records have today revealed that any future plans have been cut short, announcing the news of the famed musician’s passing.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, Drag City Records broke the news to their followers.
“We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this,” they wrote. “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.”
While no cause of death has been announced, Berman had been scheduled to kick off an accompanying tour for his Purple Mountains project this weekend.
Back in June, David Berman took part in a rare interview with The Washington Post which touched upon his previous substance abuse, recent separation from wife Cassie, and the future of his musical projects.
Our thoughts go out to the family, friends, and musical colleagues of David Berman during this tough time.