Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
Benjamin Jaffe is free, and he's just about to release his debut solo album. You might know him from honeyhoney, but here in this session we get a glimpse into one artist's mind as they take a full grasp of the reigns.
Benjamin's music is a kind of experimental Americana. It plays into the traditional ideas we're used to but his music never feels iterative. He's got a certain something when he sings that takes him away from common folk and into the world of strangeness. Ben is great at fingerpicking, and the unconventional chord progressions he employs make the listener feel like they're hearing notes that have never been played before.
A highlight of the session is "Susan the Cat," a song about, well, a cat. But not just any cat—one that contained enough particularities to merit a song. Like any good songwriter, Benjamin uses his focus on one idea or object to expose deeper and more abstract ideas that can only be relayed through the language of song and lyric. It also brought to my mind the T.S. Eliot book "Old Possums's Book of Practical Cats," a short book of poems that whimsically explore the thought processes of cats, and in turn expose us to grand ideas under the guise of simplicity.
Benjamin Jaffe Official Site