Storyteller. It’s a word that is bandied about incessantly in the Americana world– understandably so, since Americana music has become the alternative to mainstream country, where it’s okay for envelopes to be pushed, for taboos to be explored, and for societal norms to be called into question. Some fall short of the title; Nashville-based troubadour Ben de la Cour definitely does not.
Born in London and raised in Brooklyn, de la Cour, already a gigging player in his teens, dropped out of school and embarked on life’s journey–arguably the best, and hardest, education one can get. With many stops along the way, one of which included a boxing career, a stint in Cuba, and musical ventures in California and New Orleans, he ultimately landed in the Music City.
On April 6th, de la Cour released his third album, The High Cost Of Living Strange, an eight-song collection of what he refers to as “Americanoir,” brimming with murder ballads, working-man struggles, and hardscrabble life tales; the album saunters down the well-worn and dusty road of human experience, and offers a unique lens from which to (re)examine it.
“I like stories that are specific and I don’t like them to be preachy,” he says. “If I think I’m being preached to or if there’s an agenda at play – I’m out of there. I think a lot of people feel the same, either consciously or subconsciously. When I say I think this album is about dissolution, I mean it on the super local, individual level. Almost all the songs are about people who feel lost in the world. How do we cope with this feeling of being lost and unmoored? What happens to relationships when they fall apart? What happens when the unstoppable force of our dreams meets the immovable object of reality? Well, what usually happens is that it turns out our dreams aren’t quite as unstoppable as we once thought!” he adds. “That’s the sweet spot.”
Today, he unleashes a new video for album track “Dixie Crystals,” a Southern Gothic tale of methamphetamine addiction against a backdrop of disorientation and the comically grotesque. “They’ve got this saying in AA; if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you’re going to get a haircut,” de la Cour explains of the tune. “Well, if you hang around as many Waffle Houses as I do, you’re going to write a song about methamphetamines!”
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Dixie Crystals,” the new video from Ben de la Cour: