Kip Berman former (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) has shares the single/video “New Moon.” The track, is the second single from his debut solo album as The Natvral. Tethers, drops on April 2 via Kanine Records.
Kip Berman on the song and video:
“A friend of mine used to date a kind-hearted, but poor musician. At some point, their relationship ended and she went on to marry someone that offered a bit more stability – and asked me to sing a song at their wedding. I gladly sang the song she asked me to, but that experience led me to write another.
I didn’t mean to sympathize with her ex – though it’s hard not to. And I didn’t mean to say she chose something wrong for herself, because she’s better suited to her new person. But I just wanted to get at that moment when you know love isn’t going to be enough, and it’s time to say good-bye.”
“It was still the early days of social distancing, and I tried to use that time as well as I could without putting anyone at risk. So I went to an empty park and filmed myself. I then sent the footage to my friend Art Boonparn, who did some of my favorite old The Pains of Being Pure at Heart videos (“Everything With You,” “Young Adult Friction,” “Anymore,” and The Natvral’s “Know Me More”). It was a bit sad we couldn’t be together, but it was nice that we could still create something together. In the end, being apart wasn’t the end of the world – just a pause. I couldn’t have imagined a line like, “We’ll be alright, just not tonight,” would feel so unfortunately apt for this moment. But I hope for better days soon.”
As the frontman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Kip Berman wrote songs about the thrills and ills of young adult life with the care and concern of a cool older sibling. The long-standing New York City indiepop group disbanded soon after releasing their final record, The Echo of Pleasure (2017), and Berman found himself at a creative crossroads. He wanted to keep making music, but the themes and sounds he was interested in had shifted; it felt time for a course correction.
Enter Tethers, Berman’s first solo record as The Natvral, which finds him coming to terms with the changes in his own life by observing those transformations in the people he’s known – a self-portrait in relief. In the time between making his last record with his former band, Berman’s life and location have shifted dramatically, as he welcomed a daughter, then a son, and moved from Brooklyn to Princeton. With his new identity as a parent came a crucial shift in how he approached music. Gone were the months in a cramped tour van and late nights rehearsing with his band in a windowless warehouse space. In its place were amorphous, suburban afternoons playing whimsical songs to two young children, while writing music for himself after their bedtime.
But in this time away from the life of a touring artist, Berman discovered an unvarnished, broken folk rock sound– a marked departure from his previous work. Recorded over 7 days with producer Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, Black Country New Road, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), Tethers is as raw in sound as it is nuanced and empathetic in its lyricism. “It wasn’t so much a decision about how to work. It was the only way to do it. I had these songs, but not much time, so we just tracked everything as quickly and in the moment as we could and hoped for the best,” says Berman of his process. Without effect pedals, overdubs or even a metronome, the resulting album feels free and unpretentious, recalling the strident obliqueness of Bob Dylan and Neil Young’s sonic primitivism – but drawn from a set of vividly detailed experiences all Berman’s own. Throughout, he is supported by former TPOBPAH collaborators Jacob Sloan (bass), Brian Alvarez (drums), Sarah Chihaya (backing vocals) and Crystal Stilts/Woods Kyle Forester (organ).
As Berman puts it, “I always wanted to know the fullness of life – and I didn’t want to be a tour guide at my own museum.” On Tethers, Berman has re-emerged with a bracing debut, reveling in the freedom to go his own way, even if that way is home.
1. Why Don’t You Come Out Anymore?
2. New Moon
3. Sun Blisters
4. New Year’s Night
5. Tears of Gold
6. Sylvia, the Cup of Youth
7. Stay in the Country
8. Runaway Jane
9. Alone in London
Pre-order Tethers by The Natvral HERE