Ben Browning is most known for his work with Cut Copy — he plays bass in the notable electronic band. With the release of his first EP, Lover Motion, Browning introduced himself as a solo contender in the dance music sector, and now sees the release of his newest LP, Turns.
The LP is a self-produced work that was recorded in Melbourne and Washington D.C. and features the uplifting synth-melodies and lyrical choruses, as well as pop sensibilities that call to mind names such as Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson.
We got a chance to talk with Ben about his new full length and what to expect from his solo project.
The Bay Bridged: What sparked the move to pursuing your own solo project away from Cut Copy?
Ben Browning: I’ve always written my own music, and played in other bands before I joined Cut Copy, so it’s been natural for me to continue that work while still playing in the band. I’m still an active member of Cut Copy and the solo thing is something I do as well.
TBB: Turns is filled with very 70s-esque sensibilities, but still keeps a modern twist. What would you say inspired the stylings of Turns? Who, generally, fuels the electronic and lyric focused style of music for you?
BB: There are lots of influences on the album. I guess there is a lot of musical inspiration from a lot of classic electronic music like early Moroder and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Some of the other tracks are influenced by soul artists like Isley Brothers and Zapp. I also listened to a lot of Wings making this album, I have a soft spot for McCartney. The modern aspect comes from working on the computer and having the technology to program drums and keyboards and things like that. Also, Haima Marriott who mixes my music tends to make things sound a little more current that I do.
TBB: Is there any particular route or style that you’re going for with Turns? How would you say that varies from the Lover Motion EP?
I think the Turns LP is a continuation of the style of the EP. I probably wanted to focus more on the electronic side of things making this album, and I was limited to working purely with a midi keyboard when I wrote a number of the songs. So there was a limitation there that probably pushed me more towards the electronic/synth arena.
TBB: Who else worked on Turns? Any particular collaborators you’d like to mention? How was it working with them?
I had some friends add some parts throughout the album. Lachlan Dickie, who is primarily a director, played congas during the live shows for the Lover Motion EP, and he played a lot of the electronic percussion on the album. There’s a bunch of other people adding their skills, there’s a ‘Ben Browning band’ of sorts, and where I can I try to add those guys into the mix.
TBB: You’ll be hitting a couple of dates at the end of this month (July) and finishing in San Francisco. How has your experience been playing shows here in the past? What can people expect to see in your life show?
I’ve never done a solo show in San Francisco so I’m excited to debut there. I’ve definitely been through a number of times with Cut Copy. It’s one of those great iconic cities that you always want to have a good show in.
TBB: What’s next for you?
After this tour I’ll be working on some new material and probably getting together with the Cut Copy guys as well to do some new stuff with them.
Check out the official music video for Browning’s single, “Friends of Mine” below, which features Alex Karpovsky from Girls. Also, you can enter for a chance to win tickets to see Ben Browning on August 1st at Neck of the Woods by following the instructions below!
To enter for a chance to win tickets to any show below, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ben Browning August 1st” in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. Winners will be selected at random and notified via email.
Moullinex, Ben Browning
Neck of the Woods
Saturday, August 1, 2015
9pm, $15 (21+)