Quitting is super easy. When you’ve put your heart and soul into something and it isn’t going your way, there is literally nothing easier than throwing your hands up and screaming “Screw it!!” If you put all the deserted dreams in a row, it could sadly wrap around Earth a million times. So when someone sticks it out and finds success after years of chasing after their goal it’s really an incredible feat.
Will Words For Yesterday turn into the success that Benny Bassett is hoping for? That’s hard to say. As one of Music.Defined.’s oldest friends, I’m rooting for it to catch on and at least propel him to the next thing. The record certainly sounds better than anything he’s done previously. The production is clean and simple, allowing the songs to shine on their own without unnecessary flourishes.
Touring tirelessly has been the name of the game for Bassett, who figured out that if you want to make a living as a musician, you have to be a bit of a road warrior. He’s criss-crossed the country many times to play house shows and small venues that pay him enough to keep going. He moved from Chicago to Madison to Albuquerque, where he’s made his home for the past couple years with a partner in music and life. And he’s still pushing for more.
Words For Yesterday is the best thing he’s released and I hope you’ll give it a spin when it hits Spotify. He’s been putting out great videos talking about how and why the songs were written and really giving fans a look behind the curtain. He’s always worn his heart on his sleeve, and now it’s streaming on the internet.
Over six years ago I asked Ben to come down to Handwritten Recording with his band Vintage Blue and participate in my Hasty Revelations project. To my surprise, he took it very seriously and abided by the 60-minutes to write a new song rule. He came in with some ideas and literally finished the song there and recorded this. Even then he had an ear for pop melodies and relatable language. He’s even better today, as proven on every track from Words For Yesterday.
I won’t spoil the EP too much, but I will give up a little bit on my favorite track. “Find A Way” is a totally unexpected knockout. It’s got so much soul you won’t be able to stop your toes from tapping. It’s bookended with a beautiful organ riff and in between you’ll find a story of complacency getting in the way of happiness. It’s phrased here to sound like a relationship, but it could easily describe a myriad of situations you might find yourself in at one time or another.
He did an acoustic version back in January…
Words For Yesterday comes out April 12th, and Ben will be playing a show in Chicago that night. I recommend everyone come out to the show. His appearances around these parts are getting more and more rare. Tickets can be found here.
You can also pre-order the album on his website RIGHT NOW!