Watch Matt Berninger Cover Mercury Rev’s “Holes” at Home for “Stephen Colbert” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Watch Matt Berninger Cover Mercury Rev’s “Holes” at Home for “Stephen Colbert”

“Holes” Cover Benefits Planned Parenthood

Apr 16, 2020
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Back in February, before the pandemic overtook America, Matt Berninger of The National shared a cover of Mercury Rev’s classic “Holes,” from their 1998 album Deserter’s Songs. For last night’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert he performed the cover from home, aided remotely by Steph Altman on piano. Check out the performance below.

The cover is part of the 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood series and was originally shared via a video for the track.

Berninger had this to say about “Holes” cover in a previous press release: “I found myself wasting a lot of time and energy worrying about all the threats to the world and to my kid's rights. Finally, I just turned everything off and tried to chill. I started listening to a lot of old favorite records and re-reading books. All my energy and optimism came back and I started recording a lot. So many people I know are having this experience and doing their best work right now. Instead of watching everything being destroyed why not have fun and create things that can fight back. I've never been happier. Joy is an act of resistance. IDLES said that.” 

The B-side for the split “Holes” single features a spoken word piece by attorney Neal Katyal, who was President Obama's top Supreme Court lawyer. Katyal’s piece is titled “A Reproductive Rights Call to Action” and is accompanied by a score by Sean O’Brien.

Berninger recently contributed guest vocals to “Quarantine Boogie (Loco),” a hilarious new COVD-19 themed song by Walter Martin (formerly of The Walkmen).

Last year Berninger announced his debut solo album, Serpentine Prison, although the release date is still TBA. Booker T. Jones produced Serpentine Prison and also produced the “Holes” cover. The track also features Booker T. Jones, Gail Ann Dorsey, Mickey Raphael, Walter Martin and Matt Barrick of The Walkmen, Sean O'Brien, Harrison Whitford, Ben Lanz, and Kyle Resnick.

Last year Berninger teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers for the new song, “Walking On a String,” which they performed in Netflix’s Between Two Ferns: The Movie. Then they shared a studio version of the song via a black & white video featuring them recording it, making “Walking On a String” one of our Songs of the Week.

The National released a new album, I Am Easy to Find, back in May 2019 via 4AD. It was our Album of the Week and you can stream it here. I Am Easy to Find was accompanied by a 24-minute short film also directed by Mike Mills and starring Oscar-winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander.

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