NYC-based artist/animator/filmmaker/producer Ben Wigler, who makes music under the moniker BenBen, has announced his debut full-length LP, Sincere Gifts, out December 8th via Perpetual Doom Records. The first single, “Color Clouds,” and its accompanying video, directed by Italian artist Elia Pellegrini, are out now. The track is a cosmically gorgeous duet highlighting the uncanny sound of BenBen’s wistful voice and the focused radiance of his dear friend and frequent collaborator Erica Mancini (Gogol Bordello). “Color Clouds” also features performances by album co-producer Jeni Magana (Mitski) and violin goddess Camellia Hartman (Skullcrusher/Conor Oberst).
“I wrote ‘Color Clouds’ on the walk home after being let go from a job with a legendary yarn company,” BenBen said. “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 is 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,” he added. “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. 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.”
Previously the lead singer of bands Arizona and New Beard, both critically acclaimed purveyors of innovative indie art rock, Wigler is nervous but excited to step out on his own as BenBen. Returning from a long hiatus from releasing music, and very much still flying under the radar, BenBen’s new music represents a singular vision from an artist free of inhibitions and at the peak of his craft.
BenBen’s music effortlessly merges complex arrangements with melodies that beam, laser-like, into the listener’s brain, surrounded by harmonies which can be described, without any exaggeration, as angelic.
Nearly each of the 14 songs that compose Sincere Gifts is like a little exotic stone forged spontaneously out of moments of trauma and tribulation, but imbued with the infectiously ecstatic energy that defines BenBen as a performer and personality. This is music for those extroverted introverts out there, the people who dream big but are shy, and the people who seem loud and proud, but need a quiet sanctuary to retreat to.
While on hiatus, BenBen maintained his long musical friendship and off-and-on collaboration with indie-folk enchantress Samantha Crain, co-writing the single ‘Garden Dove’ for her acclaimed 2020 album “A Small Death.” With his previous brands, 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. Be Sure to follow BenBen at the links below for all the latest news and updates.
9/29 – Gutter Bar – Brooklyn, NY
10/21 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC*
10/26 – The Owl Music Parlor – Brooklyn, NY
11/18 – Biddle Bros – London, UK