The late David Berman touched far more people than he probably realized. One way you can see that is in the range of artists who’ve covered Silver Jews songs since Berman died by suicide two weeks ago. On one hand you have Dominic Palermo from Philly heavy shoegazers Nothing taking on “We Are Real.” On the other you have First Aid Kit, the folk duo comprising Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderber, who’ve shared two songs today in tribute to Berman.
These are artists that seem to have nothing to do with each other and nothing to do with Berman, yet they’ve come out of the woodwork to pay tribute to the man. First Aid Kit’s contributions include a cover of American Water’s “Random Rules,” perhaps the best-loved Silver Jews song, as well as a new original song called “Strange Beauty” that the band wrote while processing Berman’s death.
In a press release, Klara elaborates:
I think a lot of people were as shocked as I was upon hearing the news of David Berman’s passing. It didn’t seem real. It left me completely devastated. So I wrote the song “Strange Beauty” to try to make sense of my feelings. “Random Rules” is a long time Berman favorite of ours and a song we always thought we would record if we ever made a cover album. It holds some of the greatest lyrics ever penned and shows the genius of David Berman. We hope the songs can be some kind of comfort.
Listen to both songs below.
It will be interesting to see if anybody attempts one of Berman’s extra-personal Purple Mountains songs from this year.