Why? – We Are Real

“We’ve been raised on replicas of fake and winding roads / and day after day on this beautiful stage we’ve been playing tambourine for minimum wage, but we are real. I know that we are real.” – The lyrics of The Silver Jews’ David Berman landed like precise punctuation marks between emotions. When Berman took his own life on August 9 2019 his death created an enormous impact on the lives of many. Today, Why? – the project moniker of Yoni Wolf – has delivered a cover version of ‘We Are Real’ – a track from the Silver Jews 1998 album, American Water.

The track is released in tribute to the life of Berman on World Mental Health day. All proceeds from the track will be donated to the charity The American Fund For Suicide Prevention,

Additional vocals on the track are provided by Lily West and Gabby Smith.

What Why? have accomplished is a bittersweet vision of a bittersweet song. Humanity, hope, and connection are key – and the celebration of astute lyrical work is brought forward in a mix that is sympathetic to the sensibility of the original version without attempting to be a carbon copy. It’s a track that raises the hairs on your arms.

Speaking about the track Yoni Wolf said:

“I always looked up to David Berman. His songs and his poetry book had a huge impact on me in my early career. His death was a staggering blow. We were only distant acquaintances but he somehow felt like a long lost half big brother or estranged uncle. I was a wreck for several days after I heard the news, listening to and reading all his work. Then I decided to learn “We Are Real” as a way to console myself. It was quite an emotional experience but sure enough it helped a lot to just sing his words out loud.”


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