The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


LISTEN: New Ben Watt With Alan Sparhawk
Christian Eede , October 24th, 2019 12:01

The former Everything But The Girl producer teams up with the Low vocalist and guitarist on ‘Irene’

Ben Watt, formerly one-half of Everything But The Girl, is soon set to release a new solo album titled Storm Damage, and ahead of that, he’s shared a new track made in collaboration with Low guitarist and vocalist Alan Sparhawk.

The beatless, six-minute track, titled ‘Irene’, sees Watt playing finger-picked metal resonator guitar over a driving synth loop, while Sparhawk contributes electric guitar as well as vocals.

“It is about the power of nostalgia and the artist-audience relationship, which seems to obsess us all at the moment,” says Watt of the the song. “It is also about the simple brutality of social change - how cities move on, scenes die, and how people get caught up in that. I asked Alan to play on the song after we did a show together in Minneapolis in 2016. We have been friends for 15 years since I remixed a Low song in 2004. I thought his restless, scratchily emotional guitar style would be perfect.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Sparhawk says: “For years, Ben has been a glaring example of brave and versatile songwriting. Our conversations are always about songs and love for music, so it was a great pleasure and adventure to sing and play on his new record. I had to really step up my game to even hang in the room with him, but I’m honored to have been there.”

Storm Damage is set for release on January 31, 2020. Ben Watt will follow its release with a series of UK tour dates starting in late February and continuing into March. Find the full list of dates here.