Ahead of the album’s release on 7 April, and an album tour on 6 April with labelmate Non Canon and support from Helen Chambers, ‘The Devil Makes Work For Jazz Hands’ dips into the determination it took to make the album a reality.
Driven by the stripped back approach that helped make Ben’s debut album ‘Outside There’s A Curse’ such a favourite, the song speaks of death, and hints at the struggles that kept Ben out of action for a year. Ultimately the song is redemptive, with Ben singing “you should know that you can’t fear all the things you feel in the dark”.
In satirising the lyric video – from drum clicks to choruses, and glitches to reboot via loading screens for extra drum fills and self-worth – it transposes more meaning from the song than your average attempt at teaching you a song’s words.
Ben, Non Canon and Helen Chambers tour the UK in April:
6th – Brunswick, Brighton*
7th – Monarch, London*
8th – Southsea Sound, Portsmouth*
10th – Crofters Rights, Bristol*
11th – Bodega, Nottingham*
12th – Fulford Arms, York*
14th – Opium, Edinburgh
15th – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
16th – Gullivers, Manchester
*with Helen Chambers on these dates
‘Get Found’ has been a long time in the making. After the successes of debut album ‘Outside There’s A Curse’ (2011) and the follow-up ‘Back Down’ (2013) – which include a sold out solo headline UK tour; a support run with Frank Turner across the US, and the very surreal spectacle of accompanying Mr Turner upon rolling green hills at his pre-show performance of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony – Ben wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to or even want to play music again.
A very intense year-long illness stopped Ben in his tracks and even though 2014-2015 was a surprisingly productive year of writing new songs, life continued to intervene, and this promising musician spent a year “embracing horizontal living”.
A third album was anything but inevitable at that point. Yet here we are, in 2017, warmly welcoming another Ben Marwood record. The album doesn’t stray far from its roots but plays with them tenderly. Pedal steel aches on ‘Enraptured’, while ‘DNFTTTS’ is pure andante piano melody. ‘Nights’ chugs and spits before bellowing into the most uplifting-sounding chorus about death you’ve heard yet – and there are plenty to come. “I’m not dead, I’m not dying, I just can’t get up,” confesses Ben on ‘I’m Wide Awake It’s Boring’ as one of just two songs that directly reference his mental and physical state of that difficult year. But Ben’s still able to pull his best from just his familiar flowing fingerstyle and disarmingly affecting voice on ‘Bones’ and ‘Bury Me In the Pantheon’.
Confessional and demanding of attention – it’s great to have Ben Marwood back.