Ben Kweller self-titled his upcoming effort, as it is his most "quintessentially Kweller" record yet: in a career first, he played every instrument on the 11-track set.
Ben Kweller self-titled his upcoming effort, as it is his most "quintessentially Kweller" record yet: in a career first, he played every instrument on the 11-track set. Due Sept. 19 via ATO, "Ben Kweller" captures precisely where the Brooklyn-based pop songwriter is coming from, according to the artist.
"These are very personal songs. I really feel like I'm getting good at expressing exactly what’s on my mind," the 25-year-old tells Billboard.com. "Recording is documentation of a time and a place so -- and I'm not one to diss on my other records -- what I released a year ago or five years ago only reflected what and where I was at those times. I'm really proud of what I've made this time around."
It's been a little over two years since Kweller released his last album, "On My Way," but this "time around" means collaborating with veteran producer Gil Norton, who encouraged Kweller to play all the music himself.
"I sent the initial demos to 15 producers who I already loved, and two of them came back and basically said that they wanted to do the album and they said, 'You've got to play all the instruments,'" he says. Norton was one, and super-star engineer Mitchell Froom was the other. "I loved Mitchell too, of course, but he worked out of his home studio in L.A., where he just likes to chill. I just want to rock in a big rock studio and record in New York, and Gil said he was happy to travel to meet me there."
The topic of travel and moving on to various life stages is a prominent theme on "Ben Kweller," highly indicative of Kweller's personal life. The artist got married three years ago and in June became the father of a baby boy, Dorian Zev. The new set will mark his fourth release for ATO, including "On My Way," 2002's "Sha Sha" and his 2001 6-track "EP Phone Home."
"I'm an incredibly lucky person. It's really crazy -- I try not to even think about it. I'm just trying hard to be a good person," the fortuitous Kweller says. "The hardest part of all this was the early days, just trying to make [a record deal] happen. But, then again, those were some of the most exciting parts."
Kweller is currently planning a headlining tour for the fall and was just added to the lineup for Lollapalooza in Chicago.
Here is the track list for "Ben Kweller":
"I Gotta Move"
"Penny on the Train Track"
"I Don't Know Why"
"Until I Die"
"This Is War"