Emboldened Singer David Berkeley Looks For Hope And Inspiration On New EP The Faded Red And Blue, Out November 2
Berkeley follows in the sweet-voiced, melancholic tradition of James Taylor –THE NEW YORKER
As emotionally disarming as Nick Drake, and intellectually fascinating as Andrew Bird– SAN JOSE METRO
Acclaimed songwriter and author David Berkeleyhas confirmed the November 2 release of his new EP, a hopeful collection of politically minded songs, The Faded Red and Blue. The release will mark Berkeley’s first new music since his widely praised 2015 albumCardboard Boat and his accompanying novella The Free Brontosaurus.
“I actually began writing this batch of songs just after the American presidential election in November of 2016,” says Berkeley. “I was in Washington, D.C., on tour with my new duo project Son of Town Hall. My band mate Ben Parkerand I wandered into the National Museum of American History and found ourselves standing in front of the American Flag that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. That beautiful old flag was profoundly and surprisingly moving. It looked particularly fragile. Like our democracy itself, it was worn and weathered. It seemed to be nearly falling apart. I felt both a great love and a great fear for our union on that day. I still feel that. I finished these songs in the spring of 2018 shortly after the Parkland shooting.”
The five songs in this collection cover a variety of topics that have filled the airwaves and newspapers for the past two years: Trump, gun violence, immigration, the environment, even suicide. “I have two sons,” Berkeley explains. “They are eleven and eight. These past two years have been particularly tough for me not only as a songwriter but also as a father. In both roles I believe it is important to seek out positives, to look for light even as we admit and express darkness. Since the election, I’ve struggled in both capacities to do this. So many times when I went to my shed hoping to write something pretty, the latest headlines shouted up at me and altered my course. And all too often, when one of my boys asked me to explain something the president said, I struggled to respond appropriately. Though I found it easy to write about what was angering me, I wanted to do more than just rant. I didn’t want to widen an already gaping divide. That’s not really why I write songs.”
Berkeley has managed to find hope, despite the subject matter. “So I’ve looked for common ground, maybe even some shared humanity,” he continues. “I wrote these songs as much for me as for you. And I wrote them for my boys. To remind us all that we still live in a world that is worth loving, that is still worth holding dear.”
Berkeley has been called “a musical poet” by San Francisco Chronicle,“a double fantasy of Nick Drake and Donovan” by Rolling Stone,and praised for his “lustrous, melancholy voice” by The New York Times. He is a graduate of Harvard, has been a guest on This American Life, and he won the Kerrville New Folk Competitionand ASCAP’scovetedJohnny Mercer Songwriter Award.
He has opened/toured with Adele, Mumford & Sons, Ray LaMontagne, Billy Bragg, Ben Folds, Don McLean, Dido, Rufus Wainwright, Joseph Arthur, Duncan Sheik, Colin Hay, Nickel Creekand Guster. Berkeley’s last release was a novella of intertwining short stories and an accompanying album of songs, each sung from the perspective of the stories’ main characters. This was his second time pairing a book with an album, and it was an incredibly creative combination, which like most of Berkeley’s art, managed to both break and heal the heart.
His new release is perhaps even more powerful, coming at a time in our national history where we so need a voice that can spread compassion and encourage unity.
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For more information:Brendan Gilmartin or Natalie Miano, Chart Room Media
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