BEN AULD - LEMONGRASS VINYL (LTD. ED. LP)
LIMITED EDITION VINYL LP
Release Date: 16th September 2022
VENUS VINYL OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2022
Norwich-native Ben Auld’s debut is a true labour of love - created over a long space of time using reel-to-reel tapes, with Ben playing, recording and producing everything you hear (bar the sax on the last track). His music mixes the emotive singer-songwriting of the likes of Elliott Smith, with 60’s & 70s psych-pop, as well as a heavy dose of influence from the Elephant 6 label (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples In Stereo etc…). It’s both an instant classic and also a long term companion piece - with each new listen revealing all its hidden wonder and inner depth. ‘Reel’ it in!
"Ben Auld writes songs whose heartbreak and wonder reveal themselves moments after the warmth of their beauty sinks in, like slipping into the ocean on a bronzy morning. Whether he's singing about bookstores and porches or ghosts and space stations, the Bristol, UK-based singer-songwriter imbues his straight-to-tape gems with a radiant AM pop warmth. And on Lemongrass, via Earth Libraries, that comfy songwriting crackles and pops somewhere between Roger McGuinn and Gram Parsons. Auld's debut record brims with homespun charm, dazzling melodies, and lyrics that burrow deep into the heart. Throughout the album, the immaculately arranged compositions provide the perfect frame for smooth and rosiny vocals. Utilising a series of reel-to-reel tape machines, Auld chose to meticulously stack his instrumentation rather than simplify; some songs have dozens of instrumental tracks, all assembled on tape. "I'd record three tracks, bounce that over, and then record another three. I did it alone and it took a long time to figure out what was possible," he says. "I went through two four-track recorders, an 8-track 1/2" reel-to-reel, and finished the album on a TASCAM 388. One of the biggest challenges of the album was fixing all the broken old gear." With each new listen, Lemongrass becomes a fonder friend, Auld's heart-on-his-sleeve lyricism and intimate songwriting building a deeper nest. "The time is ours/ Our time is now," he insists on the psychedelic wonder of "Our Time Is Now", more certain and wide-eyed than urgent. Through first love and heartbreak, dawns and apocalypses, Lemongrass keeps turning, collecting flickers of astral bliss with each rotation, Auld's thumping heartbeat at the core. ""