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Earlier this week, we reported on the death of David Berman, the blisteringly honest, lyrically gifted lead singer and front man of bands Silver Jews and Purple Mountains. Now, Pitchfork is reporting that, per a New York medical examiner, Berman’s death has been ruled a suicide, by hanging.

Berman’s lyrics—funny, strange, and sometimes morose—never shied away from the darker aspects of his life (or just life, in general). He was equally honest about his issues with substance abuse, including a 2003 incident in which he attempted to fatally overdose. His death is the latest in a number of recent high-profile suicides in the music industry; noted DJ Avicii and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell both took their own lives over the course of the last two years.


Berman was 52. He was scheduled to go on tour this weekend in support of the first Purple Mountains album.

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