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Ben Heyworth

May 29, 2013 A - B - C, Existing Artist Tips, G - H - I 1 Comment

  • Manchester’s acclaimed alt-pop artist ‘This Morning Call’ unveils a new album to be released on Substream in June. The first single – Silent Film – comes out on April 15th.

    Three years and several thousand miles after Ben Heyworth unveiled his inaugural LP, the acclaimed artist returns with a brand new album. Journeying into a multitude of landscapes and influences from the rainy streets of his Manchester hometown to the Berlin underground are more than audible.

    Organs of the State arrives on June 17th via Substream, and sees This Morning Call, as most people know the man in question, continue on the grand sonic adventure that began with 2010’s debut, All Quiet At 4AM. The time between then and now being used to hone his inimitable style, and craft this thoroughly accomplished but difficult to define outing.

  • Youtube
  • 1. Top three (or more) tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term.

    i) Be sensational
    ii) Be persistent
    iii) Always put the audience at the heart of what you are doing (not your ego)
    iv) Love what you do and have a great time, all the time.

    A bad day in the office:

    A tough experience for any artist is dealing with criticism. There are two types of criticism – constructive, reasonable and thoughtful criticism, which is fine and useful and all part of the process and the type you tend to get in forums from trolls or from bad journalists writing reviews at ten to five on a Friday, when they’d rather be in the pub, which is usually bullshit. It’s hard to take especially if you have poured your heart and soul into a record and you are desperate for some good reviews to help push your material. The very first review of anything I ever did got a rather sad little paragraph from a regional paper that shall remain unnamed – I’ve never forgotten it to this day because I really believed they were wrong! – ever since then I’ve never really trusted a word they print.

    On the other hand, when a good review comes in, especially from a writer or a blog that you really respect, it can be cause for a great celebration.

    Some people never read their own reviews and I think that’s a mistake. Instead you should learn to sift the useful commentary from the garbage and grow a thick skin for those days when everybody seems against you. Those days will come.

    I guess what I learnt is quite simple – even the biggest, best, most original, most talented musicians get bad reviews. It’s inevitable. Without wanting to get too sentimental, the important thing is those people that do like what you are doing and come to the shows and tell their friends about you, and maybe buy your records – these are the folk that should be at the heart of your music – if you start writing music for the sake of getting good reviews, it’s all over.

    To inspire:

    There is loads of stuff out there to inspire. I would strongly recommend finding a little blog somewhere like “Tru Luv” (excellent Manchester based-indie music blog that I found the other day) or maybe one of the more established sites like “Drowned in Sound”. Visit them frequently to see what they have unearthed.

    The temptation is stick with what you know but I would also advocate artists to seek out the new, the strange and the undiscovered at all times and to share. You Tube is a great place to find out about new bands and of course you get to see the lovely videos that people make, which is such a huge part of being involved in new music these days. Are you making music? Yes? Then you also should be making videos.

    I enjoy reading the singles column on Drowned in Sound every week and I’ve lost count of the amount of new artists that I’ve been exposed to as a result. Some of them are great, some are dreadful but all of them are interesting.

    The mid 90’s in British music were my formative years, the Britpop era and if I ever need inspiration and the comfort blanket of the familiar, I’ll watch the “Starshaped” film that was made to promote Blur’s second album “Modern Life Is Rubbish”. It’s basically scenes of the band touring round middle England and visiting festivals and service stations, pissing about on the hard shoulder whilst listening to the shipping forecast, and being terribly drunk and singing on the tour bus, drinking coffee, drinking beer, drinking more beer for breakfast and sitting in fields with hippies. All filmed with the nostalgic glow of the forgotten English summer, which of course only makes me yearn even more for the long ago summers of my teenage years.

    A word of warning. I’ve always felt that nostalgia is one of the most powerful and dangerous forces in music – a hankering for youth, for warmth, for simpler times, and by extension, a rejection of everything new, shocking or different. At a time when we are swamped with new music, it’s a shame that so little of it seems to actually breakthrough, save the unadventurous mainstream delivering a conveyor belt of talent contest lookalikes. We still see thousands flocking to see reformed bands from back in the day, quite often trading on a rather slight back catalogue or with one or two massive tunes that student indie clubs have been playing for years. The theme of nostalgia cuts through my own music as it does many of the so-called “chillwave” artists, so it remains a potent force. I guess it just goes to prove that the past never really leaves us, but it lingers in the air and colours the present with experience. So keep that little new music blog close, you never know when you might need it.

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