The Silver Jews have put the finishing touches on their sixth album, “Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea.” The 10-song set is due in late April via Drag City.
The new songs were written over a seven-month period this year, beginning in March. Recording took place at Nashville’s Lake Fever and Marble Valley in Lexington, Va.
“It’s really different in that the songs have more epic settings. They are faux-heroic. Or rather foe-heroic,” Silver Jew principal David Berman tells Billboard.com. “The music is never hard rock. Every song has a function or meaning that you could sum up in a few words.”
Through the years, Silver Jews records have featured a rotating cast of musicians. This time around, “Lookout” features Berman’s touring band, including his wife Cassie on bass.
“All year she would come home from her office job and practice playing for hours,” he says. “She would put a Scott Walker or Prefab Sprout LP on and play along. I didn’t teach her the songs until September with the other people, though she’d hear me playing and attempting all around the house.”
Also featured are Silver Jew alums Peyton Pinkerton and William Tyler on guitars, as well as Tony Crow on keys and Brian Kotzur on drums.
The Silver Jews will take the stage this May at ATP festivals in England and Spain, and Berman hopes more dates will be added. “I’d like to do more. Our excellent booking agent, Derek Becker at Satellite, is working on it now,” he says.
Berman will also appear at the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Feb. 28 in Washington D.C., speaking about an exhibition by recently deceased visual artist Jeremy Blake, of whom he was once a subject.
Here is the track list for “Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea”:
“What Is Not But Could Be If”
“Aloysius, Bluegrass Drummer”
“My Pillow Is the Threshold”
“Strange Victory, Strange Defeat”
“San Francisco B.C.”
“We Could Be Looking for the Same Thing”