Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ben Watt has a musical 'Fever Dream'

Fever Dream, the new solo album from Ben Watt is released worldwide on April 8 via Watt’s own imprint Unmade Road (through Caroline Int'l).
The video accompanying second single "Between Two Fires" is directed by Brighton filmmaker and photographer Edward Bishop and cuts between a shadowy lone vocal performance and night-time journey out of the city.

"It’s an end-of-relationship song," says Watt. "Someone driving away from the past, struggling to apportion no blame and resolve things in their own mind. As a visual idea, I asked Edward to bonnet-mount a camera at night and just drive out of a busy city towards somewhere remote in the middle of nowhere."

It was in 2014 - after 16 years and nine albums as songwriter-performer-producer with Tracey Thorn in best-selling duo Everything But The Girl, a further 10 at the helm of his award-winning electronic label Buzzin’ Fly, and a radio residency on BBC 6Music - that Watt returned to his roots as a solo singer and songwriter with Hendra, his second album.
Arriving 31 years after his UK Independent Chart No. 1 debut, it met with wide acclaim at home and abroad for its eloquent lyrics and stripped-back aesthetic; it featured prominently in end-of-year round-ups and pipped Anna Calvi and Blood Orange to win Best ‘Difficult’ Second Album at the AIM Independent Music Awards 2014.

Fever Dream - self-produced at London’s famous RAK Studio 2, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in Maine - takes Hendra’s sonic template of open-tuned folk-jazz, distorted string-bent rock, and soulful rumination, and adds a fresh grainy intensity. It renews key partnerships with Hendra’s vaunted guitarist/sideman Bernard Butler (Suede) and guest vocal cameos from Boston’s dream-folk singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler and Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor.

Previously, Watt shared a short film for the album's debut single "Gradually." Watch on Vevo.

"At the album’s heart I just wanted to deepen existing relationships," Watt says. "Two years of playing live with Bernard has created a strong bond; the music we make feels spontaneous, ardent, unsentimental. We just went in and did most of it live. Small room, small band. A harder edge. Instruments spilling into each other."
The pair are joined by drummer/percussionist and longtime ally Martin Ditcham (Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden) and new double bassist Rex Horan (Laura Marling’s Once I Was an Eagle / Neil Cowley Trio), who in Watt’s words "brilliantly blurs the boundaries between folk, jazz and rock."

Of the new songs, Watt says: "I got back from tour with a few notes for a new book, but life got in the way. Close friends were falling apart, my own relationships were being tested. I found I wanted to capture smaller snapshots about how love shifts over time, what endures, how we cope. And they became songs. Some came out darker and more troubled, others softer and more hopeful. And that then became the album structure. First half heavier, second half lighter. A sense of transformation, rather than just a collection of songs. I hadn’t done that before."

Track List:

1) Gradually
2) Fever Dream (feat. M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger)
3) Between Two Fires
4) Winter's Eve
5) Women's Company
6) Faces of My Friends
7) Never Goes Away
8) Running With The Front Runners
9) Bricks and Wood
10) New Year of Grace (feat. Marissa Nadler)

No comments: