This American Life

Here’s David’s appearance on Ira Glass’ “This American Life”
[Hear the Episode]

Pop Matters

“Berkeley’s dimly lit laments create an oddly affecting set of songs, sparse odes imbued with both despair and desire. Quiet, contemplative, heartfelt and forlorn, his new effort, Cardboard Boat,…requires the listener to lean in and focus…It’s an amazingly beautiful collection of tracks.. hopeful and heartfelt… Berkeley’s vocals affirm that solitary sound, his fragile singing conveying a feeling of aching remorse and guarded optimism.”
[full review]

Paste Magazine

“A performance from David Berkeley is always an intimate and contemplative one, rich with vivid lyrics and passionate yet understated vocals. Despite his studio albums’ success, there’s something particularly special about hearing the singer-songwriter’s work performed live.”

The Boot

“If you love a good story as much as a good song, you need to check out David Berkeley.”

Santa Fe Reporter

“David Berkeley, a new-ish addition to the Santa Fe scene…can do no wrong in the eyes of his many fans as well as this here publication. Berkeley’s underground indie/acoustic sound melds Americana-ish sensibilities with the heartfelt lyrical style of punk-goes-country titans like Chuck Ragan for tunes that touch on the highly personal yet accessibly universal. You absolutely must know this guy.”

Pasa Tiempo

“The brooding quality of Berkeley’s voice…sets the listener adrift on his sensitively wrought lyrics….Float away on Berkeley’s dreamy sea.”

Santa Fe Reporter

“David Berkeley, a new-ish addition to the Santa Fe scene…can do no wrong in the eyes of his many fans as well as this here publication. Berkeley’s underground indie/acoustic sound melds Americana-ish sensibilities with the heartfelt lyrical style of punk-goes-country titans like Chuck Ragan for tunes that touch on the highly personal yet accessibly universal. You absolutely must know this guy.”

Three Chords and the Truth

“Exceptional lyricist capable of spinning wizardry images with the beauty of words.”

The Telegraph

“One of the best country music albums of 2014”

East Bay Examiner

“David Berkeley is cast from the same singer/songwriter mould as Nick Drake, Cat Stevens and Don McClean. His songs have a bare-bones quality and are quiet observations of the human condition that ring true with a clarity, unflappable in its ability to draw and emotionally engage.”
[full review] – Artist of the Day

“Every song is a story.”
[full review]

Live Taos

“Tremendously talented songsmith David Berkeley…[The Fire in My Head] is a gorgeously straightforward, dare I say Southwestern-feeling record — relaxed, honest, undecorated, full of songs that feel like listening to an old friend tell a favorite story.”

Heaven Magazine (NL)

Review of Fire in My Head
8 out of 10 Stars
“His writing skills are such that the songs won’t leave you alone and even if he didn’t perform them, they’d still be stunning….Berkeley manages to grab you by the throat from beginning to end and he touches you deep with melancholic and beautiful songs.”

No Depression (UK)

“The album stands out on it’s own, but when combined with the stories in its accompanying book ‘The Free Brontosaurus’, a profoundly emotional world emerges.”

Santa Fe Reporter

“Fire is surprising in its nonmainstream aesthetic, the perfect marriage of Jonah Matranga indie and Bonnie “Prince” Billy emo/country…. It could be his work as a novelist that aids in Berkeley’s emotive imagery, or maybe he’s just the kind of guy who has a lot to get out of his head; either way, this record is fucking brilliant.”

Outside Magazine Photo Essay

“Ramblin Man: How to Dress for Life on the Road”
[full review]

Americana UK – The Dirty Dozen

“Add David Berkeley to a list that includes Willy Vlautin, Steve Earle and Simone Felice.”
[full review]

Santa Fe Reporter

“Think of his catalogue as a sort of intersection between Beck’s Sea Change, the best of Cat Stevens or Bob Dylan and a dash of neo-bluegrass like The Avett Brothers thrown in for good measure….But there isn’t even a hint of manipulation here; he’s got a timbre one can trust….It’s an almost perfect blend of finger-picking goodness with just enough rock ’n’ roll edge to avoid solemnity or sad-sackery. Lyrically, each song tells a story, and most come across autobiographically.” – Alex DeVore

Folk Radio UK

“American song-writer David Berkeley is a masterful storyteller. He has an unforgettable baritone and an uncanny way of engaging with his audience, his humble and heartfelt songs connect at a deeper level and leave a lasting impression.”

Music News

4 Stars
“The album is a delight. Easy and intense, beautifully recorded and loaded with emotion. The work of a man whose music is part of him and made to bring out his creative juices.”

Santa Fe Best Albums of 2013

“Berkeley’s delicately wrought songs, exquisite voice and evocative lyrics coalesce to create a deeply intimate album that demands your undivided attention. The first time I heard “Song for the Road,” the album’s closing track, I had to pull the car over and just listen” – April Reese

Roots Highway (Italy)

“Able to convey with his words and his music the melancholy and hope for a better world.”

Lonesome Highway

“spontaneous and brave”

Three Chords and the Truth

“The true magic of this album emanates from the wordsmith qualities that David possesses and his innate ability to wonderfully construct a song which masters the English language in both structural and metaphorical philosophy. ”

Flux BPM

“One of the most expressive and highly emotional voices in the EDM scene at the moment.”

The New York Times

“Berkeley sings in a lustrous melancholy voice with shades of Tim Buckley and Nick Drake…. As his melodies ascend to become benedictions and consolations, the music shimmers and peals.”

Philadelphia Inquirer



“Berkeley’s a sixties-esque troubadour with songs to swoon by and a voice sweeter than incense and peppermints. … He’s a double fantasy of Nick Drake and Donovan.”

No Depression

“Berkeley’s songs are supremely melodic, in ways only the most skilled singer/songwriters are able to convey. Hearing a Berkeley song from any of his five studio sets, offers a sense that you’ve heard this music before, and in turn, can allow you to fully embrace it. It’s moving, insightful, poetic and flush with the skill and craft that can turn small observations into a grander view that can affect us all on a common scale.”

Blurt – Album Review

“So spellbinding…Quiet, contemplative, heartfelt and forlorn, this latest album is built around some of the barest designs imaginable, a sound that requires the listener to lean in and focus.”

Americana UK

[The Faded Red and Blue album review]
“While the subject matter is often political and sometimes devastating, the songs on this EP are delicate and filled with love. Berkeley has used his music to try and appeal to our common humanity and a hope that it still exists, somewhere.” [Full Review]

SF Gate

David Berkeley gives living affirmations while breaking our hearts. His voice is tender yet strong, and the moment it seems like he’s about to break he catapults into a vocal super hero.

Maverick Magazine (UK) 4 Star Review

“Subtle and beautiful.”

San Jose Metro

“As emotionally disarming as Nick Drake, and intellectually fascinating as Andrew Bird, David Berkeley is a standout in the new wave of indie-folk singer-songwriters.”

Santa Fe Reporter

“Dark, strong and delicate indie tunes.”

Hooked on Music (German)

“Fire In My Head besticht durch Minimalismus, der aber genau auf den Punkt gesetzt wirkt und an die Folk-Ikonen NICK DRAKE oder TIM BUCKLEY erinnert.”


“his unparalleled ability to capture passion and channel it through harmoniously arranged melodies make David Berkeley one of the best young musical poets this country has to offer.”

KRUU – Fairfield, IA

“If you’re into literate soulful singer songwriters, David Berkeley is the Gabriel García Márquez of beautiful-voiced troubadours.”

The Seaside Times

His style reminded me of a few artists I enjoy (Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, and Elvis Perkins), as he combined his poetry (from the book 140 Goats & A Guitar) with a more intriguing vocal style than I had anticipated. He had a poet’s sophistication with a musician’s affability, very well-spoken but able to completely engage his audience.

Sf Chronicle – 96 Hours

Berkeley published a book, “140 Goats & a Guitar,” that tells the stories behind the songs [on Some Kind of Cure]. The book stands on its own, showing that Berkeley has the chops of a gifted writer.

Houston Chronicle

There’s a understated quality about Berkeley’s songwriting and music…He has a gift for metaphor and turning a phrase, but 
his songs tend to be fairly relatable. Musically they start as what you’d call folk — though not earnest, wide-eyed hippie folk — with adornment in the form of piano and some horns that give the songs a layered and lightly lush sound that nudges it toward pop.

East Bay Express

Berkeley’s soft, guitar-tethered tunes have garnered attention from national news outlets and film directors alike, catching comparisons to other folk crooners such as Damien Rice and Ryan Adams. His most recent album, Some Kind of Cure, is easy on the ears but still full of mournful and heart-heaving sentiment.

Insite Atlanta’s Best of 2011

One of the undiscovered gems of the modern folk music scene, Berkeley’s music and lyrics boast the mature, worldly sound of a person who has actually lived, with the great stories to prove it.

Yahoo Music Blog “Albums That Should Be In Every Home”

“Berkeley is one of my favorite singer-songwriters of the past decade. His fourth studio album has “Parachute,” “Homesick” and other shades of restraint. Take a car trip with me and end up in a ditch.”

Resident Media Pundit

“For the better part of the last decade, singer-songwriter David Berkeley has criss-crossed the United States relating songs of fear, hope, faith and love. The Harvard-educated, Jersey native has a keen eye for detail and an even keener ear for melody. Through the course of three albums he’s garnered ample amounts of critical praise and his latest disc, Some Kind of Cure, just might be his best….In a singer-songwriter landscape dotted with many talented leading men, few if any shine brighter than him.”
[full review]

Driftwood Magazine

“David Berkeley’s new album is some kind of wonderful for fans of the written and recited word.”

American Songwriter

“Berkeley’s wine-dark voice and penchant for dramatically textured minor-key ballads recalls Cat Stevens at his introspective best.” – Paula Carino

San Francisco Chronicle

“He’s a musical poet.”

ABC News

“Singer-songwriter David Berkeley delivers an intimate collection of acoustic songs, bringing to mind everyone from Damien Rice to Alexi Murdoch to Nick Drake. With a voice that sometimes recalls Ben Ottewell from the band Gomez, Berkeley can tonally go from gruff to sweet on a dime, thus giving his often quiet folk songs some real, emotional resonance.”

The Boston Globe

“Emotional story-telling lyrics, charismatic stage presence, and hilarious anecdotes.”

Time Out New York

“Dashing singer-songwriter David Berkeley delivers his warm, thoughtful songs, along with a reliably hilarious line in onstage banter.”

Santa Fe Reporter – Album Book Review

“Each of the 10 songs are informed by and based upon the characters and stories of the book, each a tale in isolation, human connection—or lack thereof—and a sometimes startling view into the flawed inner-workings and emotions of different kinds of people. It’s…made even more tantalizing as it is slowly revealed that each and every story is interwoven with the next.”
[Full Review]

Valsam, Rootstime

“One of the most promising contemporary American singer-songwriters.”
[Full Review]

Rocking Magpie – Record Review

“Folk infused Americana both windswept and interesting….Berkeley’s deep and rich voice; has the capacity to to make even his simplest songs sound almost orchestral in depth.”
[Full Review]

Creative Loafing

“Often compared to Nick Drake, Tm Buckley and Donovan due to his emotive, airy vocals and pensive qualities, Berkeley crafts his songs like watercolor paintings. Intimate and introspective, his gentle yet colorful melodies are graceful and resonate long after the last note fades.”

No Depression – UK

“Cardboard Boat travels beyond uneasiness and separation; those are the contexts, the potential empathies, and probable sympathies. Listen and you will find connection and much more light.”
[Read the full review]


“Ze vervult de rol van muze perfect, zoals ook Lisa Hannigan dat deed in de beginperiode van Damien Rice op diens albums “O” en “9”.


“[Berkeley’s music] showcases his voice’s broodingly romantic qualities, introspective yet emotional lyrics, and sumptuously dramatic melodies that allow ballads and mid-tempo numbers to have the swing and crackle of tasteful rock.”

Santa Fe Reporter

If you read SFR—and let’s face it, we all know you do—you’re probably aware that we’re kind of big David Berkeley fans. The formerly nomadic musician/ novelist who now calls Santa Fe home just has a way with lyricism that conveys the stark realities of love, the universe and everything, and he does so in a tidy alt-country/indie-pop package à la Nick Drake or Will Oldham (yet not as painstakingly humorless). And that’s why we’re psyched about the upcoming release of Cardboard Boat and the Free Brontosaurus, a new novella that accompanies his latest recording of the same name.

SF Gate

“There’s a quiet beauty in David Berkeley’s voice that carries a strength with it. He’s a storyteller. He’s a heart breaker. He’s at once a gusting tornado and an elegant whisper.” -Tony Shay

Boston Phoenix

“The best of the young American songwriters, a voice full of feeling and a big, big heart. And the balls to say what he thinks.”

Houston Chronicle by Andrew Dansby

“David Berkeley has an easy way with a melody and writes richly detailed songs that lend themselves to repeated play…Berkeley is part of a singer-songwriter tradition that includes players like Paul Simon, Nick Drake, James Taylor and Elliott Smith. Armed with just his voice and guitar, he lets the songs do the talking.”

DG, Sing Out

“With a warm tenor voice, tightly controlled delivery and quietly restrained guitar, Berkeley evokes the work of Ralph McTell, Donovan and Nick Drake (although not as crushingly sad as the last). Sweetly orchestrated back-up including cell, mandolin, trombone and electric bass further strengthens the link between Berkeley and his influences.”

Bruce Warren, WXPN

“David Berkeley is a singular voice to arrive on the music scene.”

John Platt, WFUV

“David Berkeley creates a layered landscape of sounds that envelop the listener.”

Local Music Vibe

“His lyrics and melody conjure beautiful images of distant places and wistful times with just a touch of romanticism.”

Sean Moeller, Daytrotter

“He deals with the tales of men struggling to figure out what it all means out there in the cold, cruel world, and where it all fits… The songs on Strange Light, while mostly downtrodden and beat up, are affirming and full of something much more than just mild intrigue.”

Relix Magazine

“One of the most promising singers to emerge in recent times”

Penny Black Music

“A desperately beautiful plea….In what is clearly his strength, he takes what others may consider an ordinary moment and seeks out endless possibilities.”
[full review]

Folk Forum

“Hij schrijft spannende liedjes, persoonlijk en gedurfd, waarbij zijn fluwelen zangstem fungeert als verbindend geheel. Wanneer je eenmaal open staat voor zijn stijl, voert hij je moeiteloos mee. Muziek komt tot leven als er wisselwerking is tussen zender en ontvanger, en wat David Berkeley aanbiedt is niet gering. Hij wil niets anders dan zijn muziek toe te vertrouwen aan de luisteraar, in de hoop dat die hem – spreekwoordelijk – in de armen sluit. Er is niets pijnlijker dan afgewezen worden wanneer je jezelf kwetsbaar opstelt. Het zal enkel de o zo gevreesde onrust oplaaien, terwijl de rust in zijn hoofd juist gewenst is.”
[full review]

Albuquerque Journal

“Berkeley sees both the tragedy and comedy in life, managing to both reveal the sorrow at the heart of the human condition and the blazing joy and beauty in the same.”