The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena's Brent Knopf Team Up for New LP as EL VY

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Aug 4, 2015

The National's singer Matt Berninger and Menomena member Brent Knopf have revealed that they're about to issue their first collaborative LP as EL VY (pronounced as "hell pie," or the plural of "Elvis"). The bi-coastal duo will deliver a debut album titled Return to the Moon this fall via 4AD.

A press release notes that Berninger and Knopf struck up a friendship nearly a decade ago when the National and Menomena teamed-up for a batch of West Coast tour dates, which were apparently played in "empty clubs." The two musicians decided to stay in touch over the years, with the Portland-based Knopf occasionally sending "rough sketches of music" to Berninger, which the singer would then send back with lyrics and vocal melodies.

"I never worried about sending Matt something unfinished," Knopf said in a statement of EL VY's dynamics. "He's able to imagine where it can go. He can grab the four bars that will become the core of the track and develop them into something amazing."

The partnership officially hit the studio to make the EL VY record last winter, resulting in the 11-song Return to the Moon. According to Berninger, the album comes from a somewhat personal place, though not necessarily his.

"This record is more autobiographical than anything else I've written, but the details aren't true," he said. "It's written in the voices of a few invented characters, composites of different people—myself, my wife, and other people I was thinking about."

Down below, you'll find a lyric video for opening cut "Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, With Crescendo)," which pairs a few illustrations with the sight of the group working in the studio.

There, you'll also find a cluster of upcoming North American and European tour dates, including stops in Toronto and Montreal.

Interestingly, EL VY isn't the only project to feature members of the National and Menomena. The former's Bryan Devendorf and the latter's Danny Seim delivered an album as Pfarmers earlier in the year.

Return to the Moon:

1. Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, With Crescendo)
2. I'm the Man to Be
3. Paul Is Alive
4. Need A Friend
5. Silent Ivy Hotel 
6. No Time to Crank the Sun
7. It's a Game
8. Sleepin' Light (ft. Ural Thomas)
9. Sad Case
10. Happiness, Missouri
11. Careless

Tour dates:

11/02-03 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
11/04 Seattle, WA - Neumos
11/06 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
11/07 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
11/10 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11/11 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11/13 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11/14 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/15 Boston, MA - The Sinclair
11/16 Montreal, Québec - Theatre Fairmount
11/17 Toronto, Ontario - Opera House
11/19 Chicago, IL - Metro
11/20 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
11/21 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
12/01 Copenhagen, Denmark - Pumpehuse
12/02 Hamburg, Germany - Knust
12/03 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
12/04 Cologne, Germany - Kantine
12/06 Berlin, Germany - Astra
12/07 Brussels, Belgium - AB
12/08 Paris, France - Trabendo
12/10 London, England - Electric Ballroom
12/12 Manchester, England - Gorilla
12/13 Dublin, Ireland - Whelans

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