Purple Mountains

Purple Mountains

  • Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
12th July 2019 / LP, CD & Cassette / Drag City
"Berman deigns to share his “decade playing chicken with oblivion” with us. After all he’s been through, what else could he do?"
"A marvelous collection of heartbreak, grief, and bitterness. His careful writing has never sounded so exacting or direct."
"Sardonic Americana with the lyrics of the year."

Purple Mountains

Purple Mountains


This is the phoenix-like return of David Berman with the absolutely incredible self-titled Purple Mountains, his perfect, final gift.

The Drift Record Shop's #1 Record of the Year for 2019.

Purple Mountains was the new nom-de-rock of David Berman from the Silver Jews. Purple Mountains is also the name of what will be known as one of his greatest albums – full of double-jointed wit and wisdom, up to the neck in his special recipe of hand-crafted country-rock joys and sorrows that sing legendary in cracked and broken hearts. The songs are produced impeccably by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle, buffed up like a hardwood floor ready to be well-trod upon for an evening of romance and dance.

Berman’s songwriter’s bone’s never been laid more bare, either – if redemption doesn’t come on the lyric sheet, the act of putting these songs into singing, dancing form allows them their nest end – to provide infotainment for others, embodying moments of life and truth via music that elevates with disarming warmth and a reassuring commonality, even as David himself stands outside the communal campfires.


In early August, less than a month after Purple Mountains debuted and just days before their first tour, David Berman died. The singer Jeffrey Lewis had become friends with Berman - even producing an absolutely incredible piece of art, depicting visual interpretations of Berman’s lifelong works - and it was his eulogy that hit us hardest. “I told him that I think his album (Purple Mountains) is great, but that is like reading someone’s suicide note and telling them it has nice grammar”. It’s all there, and after losing Berman, each listen is harder and harder. “The dead know what they’re doing when they leave this world behind”. The first, last and only Purple Mountains album is perfect, ten brilliantly written songs full of a sweet surface sadness, a deliciously wry delivery, and so much heartbreak in the shadows that it took a remarkably brave and skilled person to write them. It is a masterpiece and perhaps the most fitting epitaph for David Berman.

1 That’s Just the Way That I Feel
2 All My Happiness Is Gone
3 Darkness and Cold
4 Snow Is Falling In Manhattan
5 Margaritas At the Mall
6 She’s Making Friends, I’m Turning Stranger
7 I Loved Being My Mother’s Son
8 Nights That Won’t Happen
9 Storyline Fever
10 Maybe I’m the Only One For Me

+ We had limited edition prints to give away with LP orders, but afraid we have totally sold out of them now.

Format /LP, CD & Cassette
Released /12th July 2019
Catalogue / DC680CS
Barcode / 0781484068044
Artist / Purple Mountains
Label /Drag City
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Drift is the award-winning independent record shop in Totnes, Devon. We have been gliding through life to the beat of our own drum since the mid-nineties and online since 2010. You can read all about us here. Come meet us, or have us ship you something in the post.

Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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Playlist: 10th July 2020

Plenty to get hyped on. This week's playlist features Laura Marling, Margo Price, The Beths, The Streets, NZCA LINES, Julianna Barwick, Paint, Surprise Chef, DMA's, Mr Ben & The Bens and more...