Australian musician Ben Craven is releasing his third album Last Chance To Hear. The new release features guest contributions by Billy Sherwood and iconic actor William Shatner. A new single titled 'The Remarkable Man' is available for immediate download when pre-ordering the album. It's an imaginary theme song from a spy thriller movie franchise.
Says Ben, “Last Chance To Hear is loosely inspired by the end of the music industry as we knew it. There’s never been a time when so much new music was being made by so many people and being listened to by so few people. The concept of paying for new music is now alien to a lot of the audience. Digital downloads have made physical media virtually obsolete. Streaming services mean that anybody making new music is now competing with the whole history of recorded music. And the album format is in danger of becoming extinct. There's never been a time full of more 'opportunity' than now. So I made an album about it. The new album is a logical progression from my previous album, Great & Terrible Potions. The arrangements are more confident and more purposeful. But probably the biggest difference is that there are fewer vocals on this new one. 'Last Chance To Hear' is more about having the confidence, and presumably the competence, to let the music do the talking.”
When asked about how did he recruit such iconic artists as William Shatner and Billy Sherwood to guest on his new album Ben explains, “I was not my first choice to perform the vocals on 'Spy In The Sky Part 3'. I pored over the melody and the lyrics to get them just right. But when I finally ran through the completed lyrics in my head, I could only imagine a speaking voice. Immediately I thought William Shatner! and loved the idea. Then reality kicked back in and I got on with the job of singing my own vocals. Except the idea never went away. It kept nagging and eating away at me, like all good ideas do. And here I was willing to give up my own vocal performance on the most dramatic piece of music on the album! So I had to stop ignoring it."
He continues: “I reached out to Billy Sherwood who as you know produced William Shatner's last album, the excellent Ponder The Mystery. Billy would have been my first and only choice to record the session. I asked him if he thought the concept of having Shatner appear one of my songs would even be possible. Amazingly, everyone agreed, and Billy is the one who actually made it happen. Deep down I felt a lingering terror that the music might collapse under the weight of a William Shatner vocal performance. But I suspect Shatner realized the opposite. He played the lead vocalist role perfectly, as boldly and grandly as the music aspired to be. It is an awesome combination and he brought the track up to a new level altogether. I love it.”
1. Last Chance To Hear Part 1
2. Critical Mass Part 1
3. Critical Mass Part 2
4. Spy In The Sky Part 2
5. Spy In The Sky Part 3 (featuring William Shatner)
6. The Remarkable Man 05:00
7. Spy In The Sky Part 1
8. Revenge Of Dr Komodo
9. Last Chance To Hear Part 2
10. Mortal Remains
In support of Last Chance To Hear Ben is putting together a one-man show for the album launch event in April, and hopes to develop it for further performances.
In closing Ben has this to impart to his fans and listeners, “This is a desperate time for music. The landscape is littered with album reissues, remixes, repackages and compilations. Record companies are trying to squeeze out every last cent while they still can. Some artists only put out new albums so they can tour. Others have decided that nobody wants to hear their new music so they don't bother making any. There’s so much noise out there now that it’s virtually impossible for anyone to stand out without the marketing might of a big record label. I want people to know that there are still those of us flying under the radar, the obsessives, who make music because it keeps us alive. With no realistic expectations of financial success, it's the anticipation of the next song, the one we haven't finished yet, that keeps us going!”
Watch the video for the first single 'The Remarkable man' below:
The album will be released on March 29th and can be pre-ordered (physical and digital) at his Bandcamp page RIGHT HERE.
Source: Press Release