Ben Brookes is finally back in the scene with his long-anticipated first ever album. The English-born singer-songwriter, hailing from Portsmouth in the UK, recently dropped his debut album “The Motor Car & the Weather Balloon” last November 21 on iTunes.
Ben got the year going starting last May, with the release of the first single from his debut album, titled “Integration (Not Segregation)”. Ben came back soon after with his second single, “Stories in the Rain”. The first single shared a strong social message from Ben, while the second single switched to a more personal note.
Listen to Ben Brookes’ new album “The Motor Car & the Weather Balloon” now: (via Spotify)
Ben Brookes, self-described as having a “soft spot for sharp hooks and indie pop melodies” and described by others as “a true urban poet”, is currently signed with the Minneapolis-based record label Martin-Guild Worldwide Productions.
Ben collab’ed with several high-profile musicians for his debut record: Michael Bland, Prince’s drummer; Greg Inhofer, Bob Dylan’s keyboardist; and Badfinger producers and guitar players Mark Healey, Randy Anderson, and Joey Molland.
Ben started writing his own music at the young age of 11. Ben’s music has been described as being infused with the vibes of 90’s Britannia youth, particularly the sound of The Smiths. Highlights of his music and sound include indie-pop melodies and sharp hooks, tinged with the fear of losing hope and love.
Ben shared his musical influences – top artists including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Oasis, T•REX, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Dire Straits – with fans and the world in a one-of-a-kind way. Ben created a video on YouTube, where he takes viewers on a tour of his home and presents his curated record collection of music’s greats. Check it out now:
Producer Mark Healey from Badfinger shared this about Ben’s debut album:
“Ben brings incredible power and raw emotion, as well as a remarkable ability to tell a story through each and every song on the album. He was a joy to work with.”
First up on Ben’s debut album is “Integration (Not Segregation)”, an indie-pop meets folk opening track that sends a powerful message right off the bat. Ben wonders why he only sees the edge and not the middle, and shares how the division on the planet is making him want to just take off for Mars instead. The song comes to a close, with Ben filled with despair at how no one seems to care about all this.
The music video for “Integration (Not Segregation)” starts off with Ben finding himself in an abandoned building. He quickly grabs his backpack, in tune with the lyrics, and looks around for a way out. After a while, he finally gets out into the open. As he takes a walk downtown, a message from John F. Kennedy begins to play, talking about the importance of a free and open society.
Next up is “I Want To Go Home”, keeping up the more indie-pop side of things. The track opens up with an intro of Ben asking if someone can take him home. Continuing the newfound easygoing pace is “Asleep in Galilee”, where the guitars are brought out and Ben’s vocals rise to new levels. Things switch up in “The Girl Who Cried Wolf”, a song that blends in folk and rock, on a softer note that’s loaded with depth.
“Crack a Smile” comes up next and keeps the uplifting listening session going. Ben sings an encouraging message throughout, with a girl’s hearty laugh complementing the vibrant experience. “Before Sunlight” sends out a passionate call to just get along and have fun. In “Look Thru My Eyes”, Ben suggests letting go and to try looking through his eyes, and things just might start looking up.
Up next is “Stories in the Rain”, an indie-rock anthem that brings the guitars and keyboards blazing to the spotlight. The music video, directed by Emmy Award-winning Dan Huiting, shows Ben playing before his bandmates, with the scene set in black and white.
Next up is “Siren”, where the piano shines brightest among all of the tracks on Ben’s debut album. The violins that come in soon after add a fine touch and make the indie-rock vibes go up, delivering the feel of an orchestra playing a show to an audience in rapt attention.
Ben wraps up his debut album “The Motor Car & the Weather Balloon” with the final track “Shackles”. Ben continues playing the warm piano and guitar beats in a smooth transition to indie-pop and folk, this time adding bass for the enjoyable and easygoing closing moments of the chill and relaxing listening session.
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