Ben’s eighth album is American Castles. Born of his fascination with the creative process, the album is a product of diverse inspirations and collaborations.
“Young Dead” was co-written with author George Saunders, while other songs on the album were written in response to stories by Joyce Carol Oates, Patricia Lockwood, and Susan Orlean. The song “Ordinary Times” was composed almost entirely out of direct quotations from former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
American Castles continues the exploration of the creative process begun in Ben’s Emmy-nominated video series SongCraft Presents. In each episode Ben writes and records a song with a featured artist over the course of a day. Guests have included My Brightest Diamond, John Wesley Harding, Vienna Teng, Lera Lynn, Ximena Sarinana, and others. Two full-length episodes have aired on PBS, earning three Emmy nominations.
Ben has released seven previous albums and two novels, and has shared the stage with artists including Dave Matthews, Tori Amos, Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colvin, and Toots and the Maytals. Ben has licensed songs to ABC, CBS, PBS, Showtime, and Lifetime. On Pandora Ben’s songs have logged 2 million plays.