Since the release of 2001’s “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” Ben Folds has toured various parts of the world time and time again, collaborated extensively with William Shatner, released a live album and a trio of EPs and recorded nearly all of a new studio album twice. The fruit of the latter endeavor will emerge as “Songs for Silverman” April 26 via Epic.
After finishing nine songs in early 2004, presumably in the studio he built in his adopted home of Adelaide, Australia, Folds re-recorded most of those cuts plus two more in a six-week fall session at a historic Nashville studio. In the same rooms once used by Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins, Folds returned to the trio setup with which he first found fame as leader of Ben Folds Five, pairing himself with bassist Jared Reynolds (Allison Moorer, Shatner) and drummer Lindsay Jamieson (Departure Lounge, Butterfly Boucher).
“We recorded this album really fast because I wasn’t worried about making changes to the songs; I’d already done that the first time through,” Folds says. “All we were concerned with was getting the right performance —- doing a take, listening to the playback and getting chills when you know you nailed the spirit of the song.”
Among the selections is “Late,” a tribute to his onetime touring partner, late singer/songwriter Elliot Smith. “I wanted to write about the Elliott Smith that I saw on tour,” he says, “who seemed shy and fragile one minute then playing super aggressive basketball the next, whose music got me through some hard times.”
The single “Landed” will presage the self-produced 11-track “Silverman,” targeted for delivery Feb. 1 to U.S. radio outlets for airplay consideration.
“It’s about a close friend of mine who’s recovering from being under the influence of a crazy girlfriend,” says Folds. “I had this mental image of him flying back to reality, landing at the airport and needing a ride back to the life he left behind.”
Here is the “Songs for Silverman” track list:
“You To Thanks”
“Give Judy My Notice”