John Vanderslice Shares EP Dedicated to the Late David Berman
Vanderslice has also released a rarities collection from his now-closed studio space Tiny Telephone.
There are many ways to write a love letter. Many of them don’t contain any words, as can be heard in the latest EP from John Vanderslice, which is dedicated to the late musician David Berman. There are some lyrics on John, I can’t believe civilization is still going here in 2021! Congratulations to all of us, Love, DCB, but mostly the seven tracks are made up of glitching loops and intergalactic fuzz. With the closing of his space Tiny Telephone, Vanderslice transitioned from analog recording to embracing digital experimentation, taking over a synth-filled studio that belonged to producer John Congleton.
Berman and Vanderslice met in the early 2000s, cultivating a friendship with years of trading songwriting ideas, tips, and postcards (in addition to pro-wrestler photos). One of those postcards read, “I can’t believe civilization is still going here in 2008! Congratulations to all of us, Love, DCB,” which is where the title for this latest EP comes from.
“David was the brilliant songwriter behind Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, and a titanic figure and huge mentor in my own life,” Vanderslice shared in a statement. “We loved each other. His death fucked me up. This is a love letter to David and an anti-suicide pact with myself.”
The memorial EP comes the same days a rarities collection from Vanderslice called Ethical Jute Mouse, which includes lost songs from his studio and rehearsal space Tiny Telephone from the years 2001-2021, including the Spoon-featuring “Time Travel Is Lonely” and covers of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Songs: Ohia’s “Long Dark Blues.” The two collections are a celebration of Vanderslice’s past and Berman’s unforgettable impression on this world, while also serving as a testament to moving forward even when the dark waves of depression seem infinite.
Listen to both releases below.