Happy release day to Mr Ben & The Bens who release their new album ‘Life Drawing’ today! Read some kind words below and then listen till your heart’s content 💙
“One-man band Ben Hall stands in a proud line of beguilingly eccentric British popcraft that runs from Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers to Euros Childs and Gruff Rhyss… With a voice that can shift from Harvest-era Neil Young to Ray Davies there’s a quietly gorgeous quality to everything he touches.” Uncut Magazine – 8/10
“The songs are sincere, effecting and idiosyncratic in their detail… A gorgeous album of beautiful, bittersweet songs worthy of your attention.” NARC. Magazine – 4 Stars****
“We’ve been big fans of Mr. Ben & The Bens since we first caught them in Leeds a couple of years ago. Recently we’ve been more than taken with singles Watering Can and Beast in the House.” Backseat Mafia
“It’s a perfect mix of optimism and crushing reality.” For The Rabbits
“As woodwind, brass, and twilight-hued guitars shuffle along, its apparent that Mr Ben & The Bens have a knack for making anything and everything sound delightful… even wistful swathes of melancholy.” Secret Meeting
After the celestial adventures of Mr Ben and the Bens’ previous issue, band-leader Ben Hall finds all the magic he needs on earth with his new album. On 2019’s Who Knows Jenny Jones?, Hall plotted the story of a young, shy Pitsmoor woman who returned from an alien encounter newly armed with serious disco-dancing know-how. Released on Bella Union today, Life Drawing looks closer to home – Sheffield and thereabouts – for 12 brightly plaintive, character-driven vignettes, set to warm, acoustic, indie-folk-pop backdrops after its predecessor’s close encounters of the synth-driven kind.
A “cloudy thread of narrative” is present, Hall explains, but this time it’s left open for listeners to map routes through it. “The idea with the title is that the songs are character sketches, and their stories coalesce in a place that has a bit of all the towns in the North of England I’ve lived in. Bits of myself in the stories came out unintentionally, so I’d like it if the listener could find those semi-truths from the songs and place them into their own experiences.”