Ben Garrett, aka frYars, is a skinny, wavy-haired 18-year-old London-based singer-songwriter with a Roxy swagger, and whose velvety baritone sounds like it’s emerging from someone twice his age and stature. It makes perfect sense he was brought to our attention by a friend (thanks, Kristi), who heard of him through Beirut’s sax player while she was traveling across the puddle. Here, though, instead of a youthful croon wrapping around Balkan brass, Garrett sets up his intelligent tales of death and happiness within danceable, but totally pop-rock synth and piano symphonies, giving a sort of Bowie lift-off and a bit of that Jarvis suavity to the proceedings. Garrett, who runs with the fellow BTW Cajun Dance Party and Bombay Bicycle Club crew, recently released his four-song debut, The Ides EP — we’re hooked on every last note of it. For starters there’s the title track with its irresistible “You should have died that very night / Good job for you, I wasn’t born a killer” hooks and propulsively dark, but glam undertow. The tune’s appropriately hued video — gothy masked ballerina in her own world, a sharply dressed Garrett amid a cast of walking lampshades blinking out code — is raring to go after the jump, along with a pair of MP3s from the EP. “You took my life, you took my pride…”
[photo by Elisha Smith-Leverock]
Proving he’s somewhat of a hit machine, as promised, here are two more EP standouts.
Anyone else hear a little bit of Current 93 in “happyY”‘s opening monologue? “We could find new angles more violent and wonderful,” etc. But only if David Tibet then lifted off into the Stardusted Rufus realm. Actually, “Madeline”‘s about a missing girl, though not the one you think, so there’s a bit of that C93 thing there, too. But again, it’s just way to pop shimmery to be dour. Maybe that’s why we can’t stop listening.
You can hear more over at FrYspace. And we imagine, yes, you’ll be hearing a lot more very very soon.
The Ides EP is out on frYarcorp/Make Mine.