Ben Rector@ben_rector

Former Newy Lewis and the Hues frontman.

https://benrector.lnk.to/magic

I want to take a second to say thank you. Ever since Friday I’ve been overwhelmed with your kind words and thoughtful comments. In an era where music is mostly consumed in single form, dumping your time, resources, and heart into an entire album, each song and recording equally (not just a song or two for radio), can start to feel like it’s only for you, and that the extra care and focus won’t be noticed or appreciated. I found myself honestly surprised trying to keep up with the comments coming in this weekend, seeing how many people had been looking forward to the album and were setting aside time to really soak it in. I can’t tell you how much it filled me up to see people noticing things I thought might be missed and getting excited about songs that felt like deep cuts. I am very, very grateful because that just doesn’t happen a ton anymore. I know it’s a rarity to have people be willing to appreciate your art and I’m very thankful that you took the time to.

Thanks for supporting me, and thanks for taking the time to spread the word, that’s why I’ve got a job. See you on the road this fall.

Ben


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‘MAGIC’ is out TODAY!!!!!!! I have a tradition of going to @fidonashville on release morning and getting a chocolate chip cookie and coffee. I ended up going to bed early last night and I hadn’t seen any social media stuff until I got to Fido, and as i opened up my computer I was genuinely blown away by how many of you stayed up until midnight and listened to the record. Pictures and videos of people in cars listening to it front to back, screenshots of text messages ranking favorite songs, people talking about going into work late so they could finish the record. I’m so grateful that you’ve allowed my music to be some small part of your lives, and am honored that it’s something you’d look forward to and make time for. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you on the road this fall!


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‘MAGIC’ COMES OUT TOMORROW!!! (Really it comes out at 11:30-midnightish if you feel like staying up but it will also be there tomorrow)


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MAGIC IS OUT IN 2 DAYS!!!
I'm all for nostalgia, but one thing I really like about 'Kids' is that instead of only dwelling on the past, it also zooms out enough to see that at some point, you'll look back on where you're at now and miss it, and that that cycle will keep repeating forever. As easy as it is to look forward to something or to remember the good parts off what's come and gone, I think there's a lot to love about the present, it can just be a little harder to see.
Pro tips:
-Thought it would be fitting to actually have a chorus of kids sing the hook on the turnarounds, and it's actually Tony Hoffer's (produced and mixed this song) daughter and her friends.
-The ‘you and me’ in the first chorus sounds like a kid but it is me pitch shifted up way, way high
-In the same vein as 'Old Friends' I wanted to put a little bit of non musical audio in to give the song another dimension, so Marc Scibilia (cowriter on the song) found some clips of kids on a playground and we put it in the first chorus and post bridge. -The turnarounds were brought to life by Aaron Sterling, right before heading out, he layered all the percussion bits you hear, one pass of each. We didn't edit anything, and it sounds sick.


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A little CONTENT from the beach. 4 days until Magic comes out!!!


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Get those tickets, folks. 10 a.m.


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MAGIC: THE TOUR. Tickets on sale Friday. @thebandcamino opens. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
LET'S DO THIS!!!


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Filmed in my parents' garage in Tulsa, OK, starring my high school band, I give you the official music video for 'Old Friends'. Link in bio.


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'Old Friends' music video THIS FRIDAY (featuring my high school band).


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I am proud of these songs and you should listen to them.


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DUO. 6/1. FRIDAY
If you thought I was afraid to write a song that references Art Garfunkel, Uncle Jesse, Joey and Chandler from friends, Paul Mccartney, John Lennon, Beyonce, Jay Z, and Kanye, you thought wrong. It is called Duo and it is honestly pretty sick. I have a soft spot for songs like this because I think it's easy as an artist to take yourself too seriously. Compared to how present humor is in other forms of art and entertainment (tv shows, movies, books) it's often absent in pop music. Even a dramatic movie or show will have funny moments. I think artists leave it out or don't go there because we're worried it will somehow lessen what we're doing or make it less artistically credible, but I think anything that is excellent is art, even if it's fun.
PRO TIPS:
1. To make the choruses and turnarounds pop a little more, we needed to give the snare an extra boost. After some searching (and wanting to make sure the track didn't get overproduced or weighed down) what worked best was recording me whispering 'kah' into the microphone. We put it over every 4th snare in the choruses and every snare in the turnarounds. It's something you'd probably never notice but it gives the beat just a tiny layer of extra motion and dimension, and gives the track a lift without overcrowding it (especially in the turnaround).
2. Because the lyric was riding the line of being cheesy, I felt strongly that the track needed to have an edge, to feel clever/lean/a little sarcastic. Because of that, a lot of the tricks you'd use to make the chorus work (huge guitars! more stuff! wall of sound!) were off the table. We initially had the synth bass doing long notes, shaping the chord changes, and the chorus wasn't lifting, it felt heavy and empty. It felt like we weren't going to pull off the song without adding a bunch more stuff, which I really wanted to avoid. I went back to the hotel with the recording and realized that instead of trying to get the chorus to drop and feel big, we needed to make it lighter and let it fly. I came in the next day and retracked the synth bass with the approach you hear and the chorus bloomed.
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Written be David Hodges, Gabe Dixon, and me


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DRIVE. 6/1. FRIDAY
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I had a recurring thought while I was on the road during Brand New that as far away from home as I was, the pavement that I was on (whether it was a road or a parking lot or an alley behind a venue) was connected to my driveway. That if you could shoot an electric current through the road like a wire that it could light up the front porch light at my house. That thought always made me feel a little less far away, like I was still in the same world as my wife and friends back home. When we started working on Drive, I wanted to try to work that image into the song because it was something I hadn't heard before.
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PRO TIPS:
1. The vocals on the song are all from the writing session/demo, but while it was in the mixing process, a few sections were falling flat to me vocally. A normal person would chalk it up to being tired of listening to the song, but because I'm nuts I went back in to the studio to re-record a few small sections (verse 2b, the ad lib stuff in the later choruses, and the words 'let's drive' at the end of chorus 2). I can get lost at the end of the recording process because nothing feels good enough to me and I'm the one making the call on when it's finished. It gets hard to know if you are making something better or worse by tinkering with it. Some of those sections didn't matter much, but I think the ad libs in the last double chorus and the high note at the end really help to make the end of the song a high point.
2. The opening drum fill of the song is a version of something @sterloid did noodling around between the first couple takes (I think he was getting a feel for navigating the eight (8) concert toms that he brought (see: Ludwig Octaplus)). It sounded like a cross between ‘Higher Love’ and the beginning of some iconic 80’s movie with boats and police. It was so striking, I felt like it would be the perfect way to start the song. In typical fashion, I think the actual fill in the song was his first or second pass at that idea.
3. I take a guitar solo at the end of the song and it is hilarious.
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Written by Jeff Pardo and me


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