Silver Jews - American Water LP

(Drag City, 1998)


Most people get into Silver Jews through Pavement. The band was formed around the same time as Pavement, and originally featured two members of the band, Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich.

By the time American Water came around Silver Jews was really David Berman’s project, but Stephen Malkmus weighs heavy on the album. The Pavement frontman is only officially listed as a co-songwriter on two tracks, but his influence (and vocals) can be heard throughout, and his guitar playing is a constant presence.

In a sense Silver Jews are like a country-rock Pavement. Imagine if someone heard “Range Life” and thought “that’s a good sound. I could make a career out of that sound,” that’s Silver Jews. The main difference, and the main draw to Silver Jews, is David Berman’s lyricism. He’s a poet’s poet and it shows all over Silver Jew’s discography, and especially on American Water.