Kip Berman

As the frontman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Kip Berman wrote songs about the thrills and ills of young adult life with the care and concern of a cool older sibling. The long-standing New York City indiepop group disbanded soon after releasing their final record, The Echo of Pleasure (2017), and Berman found himself at a creative crossroads. He wanted to keep making music, but the themes and sounds he was interested in had shifted; it felt time for a course correction.

Enter Tethers, Berman’s first solo record as The Natvral, which finds him coming to terms with the changes in his own life by observing those transformations in the people he’s known — a self-portrait in relief. In the time between making his last record with his former band, Berman’s life and location have shifted dramatically, as he welcomed a daughter, then a son, and moved from Brooklyn to Princeton. With his new identity as a parent came a crucial shift in how he approached music. Gone were the months in a cramped tour van and late nights rehearsing with his band in a windowless warehouse space. In its place were amorphous, suburban afternoons playing whimsical songs to two young children, while writing music for himself after their bedtime.

But in this time away from the life of a touring artist, Berman discovered an unvarnished, broken folk rock sound — a marked departure from his previous work.

(Photo Credit: Remy Holwick)

@the_natvral

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Talks

Richard Thompson Isn’t Just a Boomer Folk-Rock Guitar God

By Kip Berman | May 25, 2021

Richard Thompson Isn’t Just a Boomer Folk-Rock Guitar God

Kip Berman (The Natvral) dives deep into the folk legend’s new memoir.

Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) Talks the Pastels’ Slow Summits

By Kip Berman | June 13, 2013

Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) Talks the Pastels’ Slow Summits

Like Sarah Records, anoraks and the oft-cited but mostly misremembered NME mixtape C86, the Pastels have become shorthand for something...

Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) Talks the Killers’ Battle Born

By Kip Berman | May 1, 2013

Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) Talks the Killers’ Battle Born

The Strokes were meant to be the definitive American rock band at the turn of this century. Then, about two weeks before the intended U.S. release...

Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) Talks Kim Jung Mi’s Now

By Kip Berman | February 28, 2013

Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) Talks Kim Jung Mi’s Now

There’s a small bar in Seoul whose shelves are lined with Korean LPs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. My friend Kelly Pratt had played Seoul back when he...