‘Color Clouds’ by BenBen | New Album, ‘Sincere Gifts’
Exclusive video premiere of ‘Color Clouds’ by BenBen, taken from the upcoming album, ‘Sincere Gifts,’ out December 8th via Perpetual Doom.
BenBen is a composer, singer and animated film director based in New York City. His upcoming debut solo album ‘Sincere Gifts,’ will be released in late 2023 on Perpetual Doom Records. BenBen is best known for an unforgettably unique singing voice that sounds a little like the unlikely combination of Neil Young and Freddy Mercury.
The upcoming album is densely packed with infectious melodies and a quilt of performances by friends such as Jeni Magana (Mitski), Camellia Hartman (Skullcrusher/Conor Oberst) and Erica Mancini (Gogol Bordello).
‘Sincere Gifts’ invites sensitive souls who seek beauty in the small, overlooked places to find refuge in a gorgeous indie artrock wonderland. BenBen is energetically exuberant as well as painfully shy, and struggles with relentless anxiety. His art explores themes of creating a personal magic practice and reaching out to greater forces to facilitate healing and safety.
BenBen discusses ‘Color Clouds’ track and video: “I wrote ‘Color Clouds’ on the walk home after being let go from a job with a legendary yarn company. As an artist who lives with an anxiety disorder, I constantly feel like I’m about to be hit by a bus. This is a song expressing the sweet relief I’m able to feel when I step back and realize that I am safe. It is a loving ode to the otherworldly muses I like to believe may be watching over me.”
“This video depicts a spirit who at first I saw as a stand-in for myself, but then realized was really a projection of my newborn daughter as a young person lost in the world, perhaps struggling with some of the same problems I’ve encountered. I imagine her calling out for help in the same way that I have so many times; through music. The creature that comes out of the clouds represents the muse who I have felt with me since I started recording music. When I close my eyes and sing, this is who I imagine is really singing. But in this video, she has also merged with my longtime partner Bridget, who has had my back since the very first days I sang. One of the themes of the album is about treating as sacred and precious all of the people who have shown up for us over the years – no one has shown up for me more than Bridget, and there have been times when I spend more energy on my muse than on my actual life partner. Collapsing these characters is my way of insisting that my art quests and my life quests are intertwined so I don’t lose sight of either of them. There is a huge amount of personal and unique magical symbolism throughout the video tucked into all the details and the character designs, but ultimately it is an expression of hope that all of us can find our own unique way of channeling safety and comfort when we most need it.”
In other musical contexts, BenBen has worked with a wide array of artists ranging from the Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlile to Band of Horses and Swedish psychedelic legend Gustav Ejstes of Dungen. He also co-wrote the single ‘Garden Dove’ with indie-folk goddess Samantha Crain for her beloved 2020 album ‘A Small Death’ and contributed vocals to her earlier work.
Headline photo: Elia Pellegrini & Nate Dorr