[My Gang] Ben Ottewell - Lightbulbs : Reco of the Week 15 Feb 11


15. Feb. 2011, 18:17

Track: Lightbulbs [ Soundcloud | Hypem ]
Artist: Ben Ottewell
Album: Shapes and Shadows
(Eat Sleep Records, 7 Feb 11) [ We7 | Spotify | mflow ]
Tags: , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, audio upload

My recommendation this week isn't as obscure as it looks. Ben Ottewell is one of the vocalists with Gomez, he's the gravel-voiced one. The band are still together, this is his solo debut, five years in the making. The track I have chosen is the lead single, Lightbulbs.

Again, I have chosen an album that will take time to get to know. On first listen it sounds warm, though minimal and sparse, his familiar voice standing out over everything and no song standing out over another. After a while, things start to take shape. Certain instruments come to the fore, as do certain melodies, you recognise Pachelbel's Canon in Chose, Chicago becomes the hardest track, and the album fills out. The acoustic arrangements were co-written with Sam Genders, formerly of Tunng and the album was co-produced with Will Golden.

It's a long way from the sound of Gomez, though they're still there, echoing in the background. It owes much to alternative folk of recent years, artists such as Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens. There is the inevitable comparison to Nick Drake and a fair comparison to Ryan Adams and David Gray. Damien Rice could quite reasonably be added to the list.

'Lightbulbs' begins slowly, as if the instruments are still being warmed up. It takes its time to peak and plateaus somewhere mellow but jolly when it does. Nothing groundbreaking here. The tone is calm, mature and sedate. There's no rush. Plenty of time.

The next track, All Brand New, is subtle and gorgeous, burning with a restrained passion for a new love, politely requesting permission to stay a while. Beautiful instrumentation, harmonies and pace. This is followed by the bouncy Blackbird, available right now as a free download on the official site.

The five years of effort shows. The standard is maintained throughout and editing is well-judged. Lyrics are poetic, painting little vignettes when they're not being abstract. There is a small concession to flourishes, which leap out from the stark minimalism and shimmer. It doesn't so much smack you over the head as beckon you in.

Fans of Gomez will be familiar with this gravelly-voiced old friend and it shouldn't be too much of a leap to go from their madcap antics to the maturity and sophistication of Shapes and Shadows. This is the second solo work from the band. The first was by Ian Ball, who released his album, Who Goes There, in 2007.

Put this on when you want the world to stop.

Further reading

Official site
Gomez official site
Wikipedia - Gomez
BBC review


- My Gang

Reco of the Week archives
My Gang Reco of The Week

Disclaimer: Mines

(Source: Bang On PR)

Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 266
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 435
Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 206
Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 5

Date Added: January 22, 2011
Views: 698, Comments: 1, Likes: 6, Dislikes: 0

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 402
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 714
Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 181
Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 5

Views: 1,049, Comments: 2, Likes: 7, Dislikes: 0

124 Unique Visitors
155 Page Views

Unique Visitors
Page Views

Akzeptierte Übermittlungen
Central Point: where artists and listeners meet, My Gang, newBlip, Extensive Musical Taste, i'm not anti-social, i just enjoy my music., i'd die without music, Addicted to Last.fm, Downtempo, spotify, destroying bedtime one hour at a time, Next Big Things - NBTs, Scrobble for Spotify, The Indie Bicycle, Tea Drinkers Anonymous, People who believe that they can beat a MILLION plays before life beats them, Geek Music, We Love Weird Voices!, Open Minded Music Freaks, For people who cant go through a day without hearing a single song., StumbleUpon, Music On. World Off., Eclectic Musical Taste, People who can enjoy ANY kind of music, Yes Im Awesome, music is bigger than me, People who like a new band or a new genre every week, Old People, New Music, This Goop Only Consists To Halve The Blessed Dialectic, Maybe - Oh Myriad!, Real Journal Entries, radio kb7clx, 2000+ artists, The Knitting Circle, Under the Radar Magazine, best music, music addict, UK Music Bloggers, Stumbleupon Users, Children of the 70's who still listen to lots of music., those who just can't get enough of music, Music Nerds, Music you want added to last.fm, Debonair esprit, friends with completely different taste of music, Moominland, Music Discovery, Darkwave Music, AngelicVoices, Radiohead is our top artist, Alternative Folk and Indie, Duyster, My Music Shows How I Feel, Art Rock, The Indie Group, Acoustic, People who can't stop listening to music, Music for the head, Obscure Music Recommendations, Lot's of Folk Music, slowcore, Insomniacs Against Bedtime, NO boundaries Music, People With A Great Taste In Music., I Love Legally free downloaded music!, -Folk-, 6 Music Listeners, People who constantly have music on., For People Who Enjoy Music, INFP, I Listen To Everything, Minimalism and Ambience, Pixies Palace, my friends don't like my music, A group for people who like beautiful music and beautiful books!, Real Indie, Chez Musinum, Independent Artists II, I don't care what you think about my music taste., Protest against the rising tide of conformity, JAGJAGuwar, Good Taste Only, Independent Artists III, 100000 Plays, For the Love of Alt - Country, not just Ryan Adams, Good Listener, Intellectual Music, people who wear watches on right hand, ENTP, No Ordinary Music, Genius Loci, Last.fm has made me more whole, 5000+ artists, a place to be reasonable, Acoustic Photographers, Post Music, Music for Insomniacs, Music 2.0, Lyric appreciation society, The Library of Babel, Writing is Art, 7000+ artists, Strange sounds, Signs of the Zodiac - Scorpio, Diversity Is Good!, Not Typical Music Recommendation, Puddlegum, Night music, The Motherworld of Popular Music, babble, Writers of Last, Contemporary Music, I like Daisy's, TASTE!, Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums, completely perfect taste in music, The Last.fm Diversity Revolution, Pixies Palace Park, Music Reviews and Reviewers, My track of the week, I'm listening to both kinds of music: Country & Western, Serious Music Critics, Heavenly Voices, StumbleUpon Last.fm, Scorpius, Scrobble purists, Over 40, mnml


  • rwitte

    Not a bad track. The journal prose was interesting, discursive and informative. Maybe less spectacular than some of your recent posts, but a an enjoyable read, none the less. Sometimes a calm painting is prettier than fireworks. As usual, many thanks.

    17. Feb. 2011, 18:13
  • Babs_05

    Thanks, rwitte. I suppose I took my cue from the music as I was listening to it as I wrote.

    17. Feb. 2011, 21:31
Alle 2 Kommentare anzeigen
Sage etwas. Melde dich bei Last.fm an oder registriere ein neues Benutzerkonto (es kostet nichts).