Watch Matt Berninger talk us through ‘Serpentine Prison’ track by track

The National frontman talks us through the origins and inspiration of each song on his beautiful debut solo album

“Often when I’m writing, I’m writing songs that I wish someone else would sing to me – be it Nina Simone or the people I love,” Matt Berninger told NME about his process. “Most of my songs are love songs to myself or that champion me. They’re cheerleading songs for my own soul. They’re not just about me; they’re about the people that made me… me.”

While The National frontman’s approach has seen him bare his soul in a far more confessional manner to most of his peers in the past, never has he been more open, honest and real than on his debut solo album ‘Serpentine Prison‘ – an album which he explains to us was heavily inspired by love, loss, desperation, depression, childhood nostalgia and Dolly Parton.

Reviewing the album, NME concluded: “If you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t put their records in alphabetical artist order, then ‘Serpentine Prison’ should be filed next to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ ‘The Boatman’s Call’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘You Want It Darker’ as a lesson in stately, direct and personal songwriting prowess.”


If you want a true portrait of the artist, then ‘Serpentine Prison’ is an intimate a picture of Berninger as you’re going to get. If you want the full and true story of the record, then watch Matt giving us the lowdown in the video above.

‘Serptentine Prison’ by Matt Berninger is out now.