The avant pop polymath shares his latest project, a stunning exploration of self.
Ben Gregory has unveiled his latest project, Bodies, via Transgressive Records. The EP is a starkly intimate anthology of tracks that explore the complex and often difficult relationship we have with our bodies. The songs across Bodies emerged during a transformative phase in Gregory’s life, as he relocated to Manchester to study following a difficult period marked by a mental health crisis.
Opening moment ‘In A Certain Light We All Look The Same‘ is moving, an emotive overture marked with intricate and delicate production and a gentle crescendo toward the back end of the track. Vocally, Gregory flitters between spoken word passages and an almost midwest-emo like vocal style, the performance feeling like a catharsis for the artist. ‘Heart‘ is a haunting folk-tinted cut, subtle acoustic guitars twinkling beneath layers of gorgeous harmonies, gentle percussion providing a soft pulse to the track.
Gregory’s lyrical content throughout ‘Bodies’ is naked, his poetry tackling difficult but identifiable issues, the project coming across like an introspective journal rather than simply a batch of songs. Closing cut ‘Pale Pregnant King’ boasts some carefully noisy production on the backend, feeling like a marriage between Alex G and Bon Iver, Gregory twisting and contorting the indie folk style into something slightly more experimental. The EP is a move in the right direction; Gregory experiments just the right amount, leaving his sonic future in an ideal state of transformation.
Speaking on ‘Pale Pregnant King’ and the rest of the EP, Gregory says, “There are so many sides to the self battling it out for their moment in the sun. ‘Pale Pregnant King’ is about confronting dysphoria and that self-abnegating urge; exploding the myth that says being sad is safer. I feel weird about my brain and my body but, honestly, nothing brings me peace like singing this song. I’d previously shied away from full transparency out of anxieties that in fact have no right to exist, so, yeah, the project Bodied is (probably quite obviously) about Trans rights.”
Bodied is out now via Transgressive Records.