Instagram Soundcloud Spotify

John Berry Of Low-Fi Heroes Idaho Has Died

Written by:

Stereo Embers is sad to report that John Berry, the co-founder of the band Idaho has died.

The musician was in his mid-fifties and reportedly died in his sleep.

Although he co-founded Idaho in 1992, the California-born Berry and his high school pal Jeff Martin had been playing around Los Angeles since 1981 in different musical outfits. Idaho’s 1993 debut Year After Year, which came out on Caroline Records, was a devastating, slow-motion study on the devastation of the human heart. Bringing to mind fellow California gloom geniuses like American Music Club and Red House Painters, Idaho were deliciously doleful and so introspective, they made the National sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Of the band’s sound, they’ve been labeled as sadcore, but their own biography perhaps puts it best: “…think of it as the soundtrack to a landscape buzzing out of register just yonder behind the screen, sewn together from the scraps of two sets of intersecting years spent navigating the streets and stucco rooms of a nirvana made spiritually putrid by The Industry, suburbs screaming with freeways, low-flying helicopters, and the crackling of idiot gunfire.”

Though Idaho put out seven albums, Berry left the band after their debut.

An album called The Broadcast Of Disease, which compiles work that Berry, Martin and friend Doug Smith recorded on analogue tape in the ’80s is now available here:

On their official Facebook page, Martin wrote: “John Berry passed away peacefully in his sleep a few hours ago. He had a uniquely bright spirit that I know is still shining brilliantly in some other plane. So much love headed towards you right now….. We had quite a wild ride…thanks for showing me how to make music from the core.”