The National frontman Matt Berninger has unveiled a cover of Mercury Rev’s “Holes”.
The new track comes courtesy of 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood, the ongoing music series benefiting the non-profit. Previously involved artists have included Foo Fighters, Sharon Van Etten, and even Berninger himself, who contributed the Julien Baker collaborative track “All I Want” back in 2018.
Now for the upcoming Vol.2-Pt.2 collection, the 7-inch (equipped with original artwork from Heather Benjamin) features Berninger’s take on the Mercury Rev track “Holes”, produced by Booker T. Jones, while the B-side holds a spoken-word piece from President Obama’s Supreme Court Lawyer Neal Katyal entitled “A Reproductive Rights Call to Action”.
Berninger’s take on “Holes” stays fairly true to the original, though with stripped-down hint of National-esque melancholy that sometimes arrives in the singer’s signature timbre.
In a statement the frontman said,
“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 cover is accompanied with a music video, featuring moody outdoor scenes and shots from studio sessions. In his own statement, director Chris Sgroi explained, “This video is about process. I’m always interested in how creative people prepare themselves to make something. It seemed like a natural connection to show the actual studio take juxtaposed with Matt in quiet moments of contemplation surrounded by nature.” Check it out below.
The split offering arrives in time to raise awareness for the Supreme Court’s March 4th oral arguments in the Center for Reproductive Rights’ case against Louisiana -June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo (formerly June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee). For more info about the case, check out #MyRightMyDecision’s website.
Berninger will be out on tour with The National this spring, including for their own Homecoming Festival in Ohio. Grab tickets to all dates here. .
Also, keep an eye out for Berninger’s upcoming solo project Serpentine Prison (also produced by Jones).
7-inches for Planned Parenthood Vol.2-Pt.2 Matt Berninger and Neal Katyal Artwork: