Purple Mountains

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Purple Mountains
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active2019
LabelsDrag City
Associated acts
Past membersDavid Berman

Purple Mountains was an American indie rock project formed by musician and poet David Berman. The project debuted in May 2019, over a decade after the dissolution of Berman's previous group Silver Jews. An eponymous album was released in July 2019. The album was recorded primarily in Chicago and produced by Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earl of the band Woods.[1]

The project's name is a mondegreen of the lyric "Purple mountain majesties" from "America the Beautiful".[1]

The project was presumably dissolved upon Berman's death on August 7, 2019.[2]


Berman returned to music in 2018, co-producing Yonatan Gat's critically acclaimed album Universalists.[3][4] On December 12, 2018, former Pavement and Silver Jews member Bob Nastanovich revealed on his podcast Three Songs that David Berman would release new music in 2019 under the name Purple Mountains, which was also the name of Berman's blog.[5] Although, his blog was also titled Menthol Mountains at times.[6]

On May 10, 2019, Berman released his first music in over a decade, a single entitled "All My Happiness Is Gone" on vinyl by Drag City, using the moniker Purple Mountains. The single included two remixes of the song, "All My Happiness Is Wrong" by Noah Count and "All My Happiness Is Long" by Mark Nevers featuring clipped recordings of Dave Cloud, and also indicated that a full-length album was a "couple months away." It also credited Berman, Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere of Woods, Aaron Neveu and songwriter Anna St. Louis.[7][8] The single was released digitally on May 17, 2019, with the announcement of a full-length album.[9] The eponymous debut album, accompanied by a US tour, was released on July 12, 2019.[10][11] "Darkness and Cold" was released as the album's second single on June 11, 2019.[12] "Margaritas at the Mall" was released as the album's third and final single on June 28, 2019.[13]

A remix of "All My Happiness Is Gone" by Australian electronic music group The Avalanches, who Berman has collaborated with in the past, was commissioned by him, but a licensing issue prevented their version from being released.[14]

Berman died by suicide on August 7, 2019.[2]


Studio albums[edit]


  • "All My Happiness Is Gone" (2019)[15]
  • "Darkness and Cold" (2019)
  • "Margaritas at the Mall" (2019)


  1. ^ a b Rutledge, Chris (July 10, 2019). "Purple Mountains: Any Way You Hear It". American Songwriter. Archived from the original on July 10, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "David Berman (Silver Jews, Purple Mountains) Dead at 52". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Yonatan Gat Universalists Review on PopMatters". Popmatters.com.
  4. ^ "Yonatan Gat Interview for Relix". Relix.com.
  5. ^ "Silver Jews' David Berman To Launch New Band In 2019, Says Bob Nastanovich". Stereogum.com. December 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "David Berman of Silver Jews Returns with New Project Purple Mountains « American Songwriter". May 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Silver Jews' David Berman Returns With First New Music in 11 Years". Pitchfork.com.
  8. ^ "Purple Mountains - All My Happiness Is Gone". Discogs.com.
  9. ^ "David Berman announces new album as Purple Mountains, shares "All My Happiness is Gone": Stream". Consequenceofsound.net. May 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "Silver Jews' David Berman to Release New Album in 2019 says Bob Nastanovich - Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. 12 December 2018.
  11. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 17, 2019). "Silver Jews' David Berman Announces First New Album in 11 Years, Shares Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  12. ^ "Hear "Darkness and Cold," a New Song From David Berman's Purple Mountains". Spin.com. June 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "Purple Mountains – "Margaritas at the Mall"". Spin.com. June 28, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Avalanches' Remix Of New Purple Mountains Single Held Up By Licensing Issue". Stereogum.com. July 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "Purple Mountains - "All My Happiness is Gone" | Drag City". Dragcity.com.