with BEN LEE

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is an Australian singer songwriter and lo-fi punk prodigy who I first heard thanks to Gary Walker of Wiiija Records.

He had an unforgettable paean to Evan Dando called “I Wish I Was Him” as part of his 90s band Noiseaddict (when he was an X Large wearing whip smart whipper snapper) and I still love its juvenile jingle-jangle charm and empathise fully with its sentiment even now (these days I know the lyrics to Pavement songs but would still like to be Evan Dando, or perhaps J Mascis).

Now in LA writing musicals and killer TV scores for the likes of Lena Dunham and producing all sorts of great musicians including MC5’s finest and members of That Dog. A talented story teller and compelling character who featured in the reviews of my paper zine, I’m chuffed he could join us on our now digital pages, welcome back to VS, Ben Lee!

Since he’s a busy chap I asked Ben to describe his latest work/movements:

“Listen to Ben Lee and Tom Robbins “B is for Beer: The Musical” soundtrack streaming now, watch Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s “Camping” that I composed the music for, and check out Jill Sobule’s new album that I produced “Nostalgia Kills” featuring Wayne Kramer and Petra Haden.”

Ben’s chosen a 90’s cracker for his “song for ewe” (and a Peel festive 50 song that I dearly cherished on a 1993 home tape) so without further ado…

“Today I played my 9 year old daughter “Web In Front” by Archers of Loaf in the car while coming back from the grocery store. It’s funny, the song is kinda just a footnote in pop history, but to me, it’s a life-changing mega hit.

It was one of the first indie rock songs I heard in the 90s that had perfect pop craftsmanship mixed with a hip aesthetic. I loved how loud the vocals were mixed, which was also antithetical to a lot of the records made at the time. It felt like a Motown record or something totally classic.

It’s not surprising to see the quality of the work that Eric Bachman has done in the years since.

“Web In Front” showed all the signs of someone who had, consciously or unconsciously, integrated a thorough understanding of all the elements of what makes a pop song work.

It was great feeling the energy in the car when I introduced my family to the song. Everyone was automatically bopping their heads and digging it. That’s the thing about craftsmanship. It works.”