Ben + Vesper are a married couple in Northern NJ. They have kids. They also write that they “have almost exactly the same hair color in the right light and definitely both have curlz in any light.” They also “paint pictures and have cell phones to call their friends and work at home and eat meals and drink drinks and have a sign above their kitchen door that says “Love One Another,” etc. These are simple facts that could apply to just about anyone in a relationship, anywhere, which is part of the appeal of their simple, honest-seeming songs. But there’s also an ambitiousness to the constructions. We checked in with their 13-track LP All This Could Kill You back in ’07. That one was produced by their label’s head Daniel Smith. B + V’s new five-song, 16-minute EP LuvInIdleness was produced (and arranged sweepingly) by Sufjan Stevens: Its origins are as homey as the above quotes, the results grander (and weirder) than might be expected.
Sounds Familyre notes:
This record began in Ben + Vesper’s kitchen so many years ago over three bowls of vegetarian chili, a pan of cornbread, filtered water, and an agreeable dinner guest by the name of Sufjan Stevens. The occasion was an invitation to play at a house-concert series that Ben + Vesper hosted in their living room (which resulted in Sufjan’s first live show ever). This unlikely start to Sufjan’s performing career also resulted in an ongoing friendship and musical dialogue that has recently inspired Ben + Vesper to dish out another dollop of ambrosial pop songs titled LuvInIdleness.
The fiery, giant-bird-and-blood-filled video for opener “Singing Swords” was directed by Benjamin Stamper. It starts indoors but takes us outside the kitchen.
LuvInIdleness is out 2/9 via Sounds Familyre. The title track:
They’re playing a bunch of shows with Danielson and Ortolan.
03/07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
03/08 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory – LuvInIdleness Release Party!
03/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
03/11 – Chape l Hill, NC @ Local 506
03/12 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
03/13 – Orlando, FL @ Stardust
03/13 – Elkton, FL @ Harvest of Hope Festival
03/15 – Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
03/17 – Austin, TX @ Beauty Bar (SXSW)
03/18 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/19 – Denton, TX @ Hailey’s
03/20 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone