Mr Ben

Playlist: Mr Ben & the Bens

Ahead of the release of their new album Life Drawing, we asked Ben Hall of Mr Ben & the Bens to make us a playlist.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 15 May 2020
  • min read

Back in 2012, polymath Ben Hall started a DIY recording project in a barn in Lancashire. Playing every instrument himself, he released seven albums under the moniker Mr Ben. Most of these were released by Bingo Records, a co-op label founded by Hall and a few friends.

Now a complete outfit, Mr Ben & the Bens are due to release their album Life Drawing as a four-piece in July. You can listen to One The Beach, the most recent single lifted from the forthcoming record, on Spotify.

We asked Ben Hall to make us a playlist for the weekend. 

Tune in. 

Cate le Bon - He’s Leaving

This unreleased track from the Mug Museum album is one of my favourites from Cate le Bon. The simplicity of the arrangement and instrumentation is just so beautiful. 

Anemone - Sunshine (Back to the Start)

I first came across this track after seeing the album cover from a designer I love, Aaron Lowell, for their amazing record Beat my Distance. It’s got the perfect psych-stomp tempo for a springtime march around the neighbourhood. 

Vashti Bunyan - Glow Worms

Diamond Day is one of my all-time favourite records and this song is so sweet. The whole album is seamless.

Jeanines - Winter in the Dark

One minute and 40 seconds of incredible ‘60s/’80s crossover jangle-pop. The self-titled album released last year on Slumberland is SO good. 

Animal Collective - Who Could Win a Rabbit

Esoteric mantra from the unparalleled Animal Collective. The melody on this song is wild, genius!

Ivor Cutler - Jumping and Pecking

They just don’t make them like they used to. The ‘oblique musical philosopher’ Ivor Cutler and his strange and beautiful ditty on the social life of nature.

Thee Oh Sees - The Daily Heavy

Squeaky toy infused motoric garage rock, for head-banging in the Skoda Roomster!

Deerhoof - Fresh Born

This one’s Deerhoof at their more melodic, but still with that brilliant atonal loud-quiet dynamic. The Juan’s Basement session of this song live is absolutely unreal.

Karen Dalton - Something On Your Mind

I remember a friend introducing this one to me and just immediately being completely blown away. Alongside a really heartbreaking set of chords is Karen Dalton's powerful idiosyncratic voice. it’s a real gut punch of a song. 

Grandaddy - Underneath the Weeping Willow

Happy-sad piano ballad with that very specific refrained quality that never quite breaks from the subtle crescendo. There’s this gorgeous arpeggio floating over the top of the composition that could soundtrack any sunrise.