Mr Ben & The Bens 'Life Drawing' LP
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, Life Drawing, released 10th July via Bella Union. 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. Life Drawing, meanwhile, looks closer to home for its inspiration – Sheffield and thereabouts – for twelve 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.”
The band have shared a video for first single “Beast In The House”. Of the video Ben Hall says: “Beast in the House deals with the theme of an ostracised individual in a community through no fault of their own. For the film we decided to explore the idea of a witch hunt but with a slightly warped narrative - an angry medieval mob was amassed from our closest friends. The group are driven mad by mass hysteria and the focus of the narrative is towards the ridiculousness of their journey to single out individuals within their community, for something as trivial as an insect bite (whilst recording the album last summer I was actually suffering the effects of Lyme disease). We juxtapose their story with the serene day to day life of a woman who is unknowingly about to be hunted.”
Catalogue number: BELLA1043V
Label: Bella Union