Like many of us, Animal Collective’s Avey Tare and Geologist were looking forward to seeing David Berman perform with his band Purple Mountains on the group’s first tour, and like many of us, the duo wound up melancholically spinning Silver Jews records and reminiscing on the life of their late frontman instead.
Today the pair are sharing a cover of Silver Jews’ somber “Ballad of Reverend War Character,” which they recorded the day after the scheduled performance. Tare’s hushed vocals waver over woozy, minimalist instrumentation that could only come from the Baltimore experimentalists.
“He was an inspiration for decades,” the duo shared of Berman. “One we wouldn’t be here without. We’ve been playing covers of his music since 1994 when we first picked up guitars together, so it felt like one of the few things we could do to get through the sadness.”