Ben Wyeth – Found
Life’s bound to throw you some curveballs along the way regardless of your status or ambition. This is to be expected, although there’s no manual to aid in preparation for these shifts.
The ones that have dedicated much of their life to a creative pursuit, however, are fortunate. They can mine their experiences for their own work and, in doing so, make better sense of what happens around them.
Ben Wyeth, aka Ben Grubin, the former singer of the excellent indie-rock band Hockey, was, not long ago, fronting one of the more exciting rock units in the world. In an interview with Alt77, he revealed his own struggles he has had to contend with once the group’s lifespan ended. These upheavals lead to a fascinating journey of self-discovery.
The artist’s development has, naturally, spilt into his music. In what is likely a conscious decision to distance himself from the past, Wyeth has opted to incorporate modern electronica elements to compliment his soulful vocals. It’s a trajectory that the first Hockey record merely hinted towards. Those who have been following the singer’s evolution will, no doubt, find reasons in the single Found to stick around for the next chapters of Wyeth’s story.
Pat Byrne – Just a Venial Sin
It’s amazing really to see sizable nations like the U.S.A., China, or India fail to qualify for international sporting events. It’s quite hard to imagine that they wouldn’t be able to find a single team of people to represent them in any sport. Are good soccer players more statistically likely to come out of Belgium than China?
In much the same manner, it’s amazing to consider what the tiny island of Ireland has contributed to world culture. It’s especially astonishing to consider their love affair with the spoken and written word. That’s even more impressive considering the Irish love of liquids that tend to make you stutter, hiccup, and misplace your car keys.
One song that digs deep into these very characteristics is Pat Byrne’s Just a Venial Sin. If Springsteen were Irish and the nature of sin would be weighing even more heavily on his troubled mind, his work might sound a bit like this. It’s working-class, it’s sophisticated, and it’s truthful.