Ben Weaver

Paper Sky

Release Date: 04/27/2007 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 668

“I only have one rule when it comes to songwriting. That is: whenever I have an idea I stop whatever I am doing and I write it down.”
So goes the life of Ben Weaver. And though the Oregon-born songwriter spends more time in his basement getting those ideas down than is likely proper or healthy, it’s hard to argue with the results – evocative, hushed songs populated by birds, phone booths, lovers, empty parking lots, friends, shoppers in the checkout line, and plastic bags stuck in trees.

A former Casket Company warehouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota is Weaver’s current world headquarters. Multitudinous organs, synthesizers, guitars, a sampler, a piano, a dog, Polaroid cameras, sketch books, New Yorker back issues, boxes of CDs and a PowerBook mark the territory. There is an air of controlled chaos and the musty smell of old tube amps.

This is where, under the watchful eye of a dog and perhaps several hundred interred ghosts, Weaver’s striking new album, Paper Sky, took shape. With the aid of committed producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine), the record coalesces into a seamless blend of urban and rural, experimental and roots. “This record explores urban and industrial themes that I hadn’t touched before. I have been living in the city and that has made me see the relationship between the city and field differently.”

Consequently, Weaver’s interest in experimental and electronic music steps to the forefront on Paper Sky, with crinkly synthesizer textures and other mutilated sounds mixed beneath beautiful layers of cello and blasts of processed trumpet. “Deck exposed me to the Austrian laptop performer Fennesz. He was a huge influence for a lot of the sound stage and static feel of this record. But I was also listening to a lot of Bill Evans, Glenn Gould, Silver Jews...”

When not writing, recording or releasing his records, Weaver is often on the road, touring through Europe, America and Australia. “I try and change my surroundings as often as I can,” says Weaver, who performs solo and with a revolving cast of collaborators. “This way I am always being exposed to new things that effect and change my interpretation of the world, which leads to a constant renewal in my art.”

Weaver writes continuously, a process perhaps more akin to breathing than composing, and has released a veritable Minnesota blizzard of material – at the tender age of 27, Paper Sky is his fifth record. So perhaps it’s not a surprise that Weaver has already set to planning the record to follow Paper Sky. “I have always identified with those people who make art because they have to, that sense of necessity and urgency. That is why I make art, to fulfill that need within myself and to connect with, and provide art to the people of the world who also cannot live without it.”

Visit Artist Site

Tracklist

1. Introlude
2. In November
3. Wings As Knives
4. Plastic Bag
5. Like A Vine After The Sun
6. The Unelected
7. Black On Black
8. Down 25
9. Surrealism & Blues
10. Sorrow
11. Frankie
12. Geisha
13. Train Leaves Smoke
14. Whatever You Wanto To Haven't You