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|4. Golden Ratio|
|5. Matthew Arnold's Field|
|6. The Gun|
|8. The Levels|
|9. Young Man's Game|
|10. The Heart Is A Mirror|
|11. Hendra (Demo)|
|12. Spring (Demo)|
|13. Young Man's Game (Demo)|
|14. Forget (Live)|
Recorded in London and Berlin, the music is a meeting of worlds: languid folk, distorted rock and fizzing electronics; in part a result of the album's two central collaborators, ex-Suede guitarist, Bernard Butler, and Berlin-based producer Ewan Pearson.
'I turned instinctively to Bernard very early on,' says Ben. 'I knew his overdriven, string-bent intensity would be the perfect foil to my own warm open-tuned style. It adds tension to the songs. Ewan has a foot in both my recent worlds. He can do thrumming Berlin techno, but also things of great delicacy and grace. I also wanted his vintage 70s poly-synths as a contrasting colour, and a burnished 3-D sound, which of course both play to his strengths.'
The album also includes one other unexpected stellar cameo - Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who adds plangent slide guitar and backing vocals on 'The Levels'.
This format includes 4 bonus demo & live tracks.
After twenty years in Everything But The Girl, and ten years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects.
The first is his long-awaited second book, 'Romany and Tom', a dazzling portrait of his parents. The second is 'Hendra', his first solo album for over thirty years, released on his own new imprint, Unmade Road through Caroline International. It is, in Ben's words, 'simply a folk-rock record in an electronic age'.
It was in 1981 that Ben first appeared on London indie, Cherry Red, as a young nineteen-year-old experimental folk artist. His first single was produced by the maverick Kevin Coyne. With his second - 1982's 'Summer into Winter' EP - Watt coaxed alt-folk icon Robert Wyatt into collaborating on two tracks. His early work drew comparisons in the press to Tim Buckley and John Martyn and culminated in his debut album - 1983's 'North Marine Drive'.
'I put it all away when I teamed up with Tracey as Everything But The Girl in 1983,' he says. 'But as time has gone on - even in spite of the last ten years in the electronic world - something has made me want to go back to see what I left behind. And I realised I'd left things unfinished.'
'In the end I wrote the songs for 'Hendra' unexpectedly. My sister died suddenly as I was finishing the book. I think it all came to a head. My mind was full of a lot of stuff. I just went down into the basement at home every night and re-tuned all my guitars into unfamiliar tunings as a way of beginning again and just started singing.'
Fantastic CD. Love his voice and everything of EBTG. Beautiful concert last year in Berlin. It's a pity that he is nearly overseen in Germany.Published 8 months ago by Winfried Secker
A life-affirming album. Atmospheric and personal with some really outstanding tracksPublished 8 months ago by Jod
I always quite liked some of the stuff Everything but the Girl put out. It was quite by chance I heard Ben Watt sing 'Forget' along with Bernard Butler's minmalist guitars. Read morePublished 10 months ago by EMW Denison
Very pleasant and well balanced collection of songs. Had the advantage of hearing them played live recently, grab the chance if you get it. Great sonics on this.Published 11 months ago by John S Gavin
Amazing comeback from former EBTG guitarist fusing folk and electronica with great playing.Published 11 months ago by Alister King