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Ben Watt — Fever Dream (April 8, 2016)

Ben Watt — Fever Dream (April 8, 2016)

                         Ben Watt — Fever Dream (April 8, 2016)  Ben Watt — Fever Dream (April 8, 2016)♣   Half of Everything But the Girl, a dabbler in styles ranging from light jazz and indie pop in the ‘80s to house and trip–hop later in his career.  Founder of Buzzin’ Fly. Writer of ‘Patient’ and ‘Romany and Tom’.
♣   Everything But the Girl’s Ben Watt: New Album “Fever Dream” Featuring Bernard Butler (Suede), Marissa Nadler, M.C.Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger).Born: December 6, 1962 in London, England
Location: London, UK
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
Album release: April 8, 2016
Recorded: RAK Studio 2, London
Record Label: Unmade Road / Caroline International
Duration:     43:09
01 Gradually     5:28 
02 Fever Dream     3:52 
03 Between Two Fires     3:20 
04 Winter’s Eve     4:06 
05 Women’s Company     5:09 
06 Faces of My Friends     4:51 
07 Running with the Front Runners     4:42 
08 Never Goes Away     2:53 
09 Bricks and Wood     4:22 
10 New Year of Grace feat: Marissa Nadler     4:27
♣   All songs written and composed by Ben Watt.
♣   Ben Watt: vocals, guitar
♣   Bernard Butler: guitar
♣   Martin Ditcham: drums
♣   Rex Horan: bass
♣   Marissa Nadler: guest vocal
♣   M. C. Taylor: guest vocal
♣   “With my new album, Fever Dream, out on April 8, here are the dates for my first UK tour of the year. I’ll be touring with the same band that plays on the record, so expect:
♣   Bernard Butler (lead guitar),
♣   Martin Ditcham (of Talk Talk’s epic ‘Spirit of Eden’) on drums,
♣   and Rex Horan (of Laura Marling’s Once I Was an Eagle) on double bass too.
♣   Hope to see some of you. I’m looking to announce further dates soon.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek;  Score: ****
♣   With 2014’s Hendra, DJ, producer, label owner, and author Ben Watt resumed his career as a solo singer/songwriter after 31 years as a collaborator with Tracey Thorn (his wife) in Everything But the Girl. Fever Dream proves Hendra wasn’t just a one–off to scratch an artistic itch. The complications of life events — the death of his parents and step–sister, the changing nature of long–term relationships among his friends and family — needed to be made sense of, and the songs wouldn’t leave him alone.
♣   With Bernard Butler returning on lead guitar, drummer Martin Ditcham, and upright bassist Rex Horan, Watt delivers ten new songs that delve into the joys, conflicts, ends, and renewals of love of many kinds.
♣   Self–produced, these songs are rendered with Watt’s requisite grace and attentiveness, not only to sound and words, but also to musical inspirations. Opener “Gradually” engages his love for Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Butler’s distorted, stuttering electric guitars, sweet vocal harmonies, and lyrics that reference the loss of self that occurs with the first rush of love, and the doubt that emerges as time passes: “No words are on your lips/we pass like sailing ships/Can I breach this/Where are the hours we missed....I don’t know where I am/or who I used to be.” The title track reflects the weight of everyday life on passion. It contains a jazzier feel, with hand percussion and slippery guitar chords that recall John Martyn in his post–Grace & Danger period; Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor makes a guest vocal appearance. The grain in each of their voices etches its own stark portrait of romantic uncertainty.
♣   The tone of the recording shifts halfway through; the themes become more accommodating if not celebratory. The music is more delicate, but no less poignant. Watt’s love of the iconic hybrid of Pentangle’s British folk–jazz emerges in the gorgeous “Faces of My Friends.” In “Running with the Front Runners,” a dreamy bossa rhythm slips effortlessly amid acoustic and electric guitars and sparse, atmospheric keyboards. Set–closer “New Year of Grace,” with backing vocals from Marissa Nadler, counterbalances the doubt and darkness in “Gradually.” Fingerpicked, minor–key acoustic guitar, and a well–placed, intermittent cello, flute, and upright bass underscore Watt singing about the unexpected and sometimes shattering moments of beauty that emerge in relationships — when one is willing to absorb their difficulties rather than run from them.
♣   Watt interrogates love and its stages thoroughly on Fever Dream, yet in the end he unequivocally affirms it. His songs are resonant with the weight of experience, and his musical settings, even in their relative sparsity, are powerful and at times nearly elegant. ♣   http://www.allmusic.com/
By Jazz Monroe, Associate Staff Writer
Watt said in a statement:
♣   “People have been asking me did I write these songs at the same time as Hendra, have they been lying around for a while. The answer is no. I was simply deeply inspired by the Hendra experience, the reception, the months of touring, the rediscovery of my voice. I felt compelled to write more. They came in a burst at the beginning of last year. I feel I have somehow tapped into a nucleus of myself again lately. It feels urgent. From the source.
♣   M.C. Taylor added, “I am honored to play a small part on the new album by Ben Watt. It’s a truly gorgeous record — badass and moving at a time when people are starving for something real.”
Ben Watt:
♣   06–15 Washington, DC — Rock N Roll Hotel
♣   06–16 Philadelphia, PA — World Cafe Live
♣   06–17 New York, NY — Mercury Lounge
♣   06–18 Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
♣   06–20 Toronto, Ontario — The Drake
♣   06–21 Chicago, IL — Lincoln Hall
♣   06–22 Minneapolis, MN — Dakota
♣   06–23 San Francisco, CA — Great American Music Hall
♣   06–24 Seattle, OR — Columbia Town Theatre
♣   06–25 Los Angeles, CA — Illegal Theatre
♣   06–26 Denver, CO — Daniels Hall (Solo)
♣   06–29 Indianapolis, IN — Luna hudby (Solo)
♣   “I am proud to announce that my new solo album Fever Dream — the follow–up to Hendra — has been released globally on April 8 on my label Unmade Road through Caroline International.
♣   The first song from it — Gradually — is available immediately to download and stream, accompanied by a video directed by John Jeanes and premiered by The Guardian recently.
♣   “Fever Dream” was self–produced at London’s famous RAK Studio 2, and mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig in Maine. We kept Hendra’s sonic template of open–tuned folk–jazz and distorted string–bent rock, and went for a new grainy intensity. Bernard Butler joins me again. Bruno Ellingham engineered and mixed. We just did most of it live. Small room, small band. A harder edge. Instruments spilling into each other. Martin Ditcham on drums. New recruit Rex Horan on double bass. And I’ve sprinkled guest vocal cameos from Boston’s dream–folk singer–songwriter Marissa Nadler and Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor.
♣   The Ben Watt Band feat. Bernard Butler will be on tour from April. First batch of dates just released. More will be added throughout the year. There will probably be a few solo and duo shows (with Bernard) too at some point.
♣   Have fun.
Website: http://benwatt.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ben_watt
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/benwattfilms
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benwattmusic
¤   The video accompanying Between Two Fires — the new single from my upcoming album Fever Dream — 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 — 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.
¤   The journey begins among the festoon lights and ferris wheel of Brighton’s downtown promenade and ends in a dead–end high on the Sussex Downs. The footage is intercut with a late–night solo performance by Watt in his home studio. © Photo credit: Tom Sheehan

Ben Watt — Fever Dream (April 8, 2016)


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