Ben Harold & The Rising is an Americana, Roots-Rock band hailing from Milwaukee, WI. Creating a unique yet familiar approach to their genre, Ben Harold & The Rising's signature sound could fit in any variety of eras yet remains modern and exclusive to the band.
As we focus on their latest 10-track album titled, 'These Days,' we hear that they explore the complexities of being human in extraordinary times. Kicking off the album with "Just a Ghost," Ben Harold & The Rising aims to deliver an immersive experience that has us embracing the emotion they pour into their art.
Piloting through an innovative storyline with creativity flowing, the album's introductory single brings an amplified sense of ease as you cohere with the storytelling techniques the genre of Americana tends to bring to the grander scheme of sonic ventures. "Just a Ghost" portrays the tale of a woman who has set aside her dreams and aspirations so that her four kids might live the life she never had. Sustaining guitar riffs, timely percussion, and a memorable bassline amalgamate to convey an intimate foundation for the reverberated timbres to lay upon and further cast out the perfect introduction to the album.
Taking us into the next single, "I Am Weak," the transition perfectly meshes together as bright keys become a showstopper in this masterpiece. Picking up the pace and propelling a smoldering vocal performance sweeps the soundwaves, drawing towards the liberation instilled in this particular single. With a deep quintessence that's laced into the repetition of the chorus, the strength within the words 'I am weak' gives us a sense of hope in this interconnected fashion.
"Bad Luck" plays into a darker soundscape with textured guitar riffs layering in a multidimensional manner. Bringing forth a raw grit in the overall performance of this track, we get to spiral into transcending instrumentation that delicately trickles through the speakers. Adopting the trademarks of a perfect musical foundation, there's a therapeutic nature to this track as it embodies realism in the realm of classic rock/Americana.
As we slow down the tempo and tour the melancholic "Walk Away," we can't help but fixate on the way the percussion simmers in this universe of heartfelt croons. 'When the smoke clears, you can see who started the fire' happened to be the lyrical motif that pulls us deep into its grasp. The brilliant use of timing and space in "Walk Away" gives us time to let the words sink in and the emotion we feel take over. Making this a seamless transition of grooves reiterated, we all need that reminder that it's okay to feel what we do.
"Needle" takes us to the halfway point of 'These Days,' and acts as the psychedelic hit we need to embrace. Warping our veracity as the rhythmic grooves chug away, there's a unique, head-spinning spectrum of rock that has us hypnotized by the lyrical content produced. Being a standout moment for how the instrumentation coincides with every element heard in the background progressions, we admire the infectious pull that "Needle" has over us.
Gracing us with the tantalizing sounds of "Lucy," the protruding synth chords performed to give us enough melodic sustenance to embrace the realism depicted. Another impeccable demonstration of the storytelling elements that Ben Harold & The Rising bring to their creativity, we're fully invested in the wistful words that etch themselves into our brain. Minimalism is a theme in this record as the importance lies within the lyrics powerfully sung. If feeling your emotions were to come from any song in particular on this album, you would find it on "Lucy."
Buoyant with the energy felt, we get back into the complexity of Ben Harold & The Rising as we take in all that is "On The Run." Swaying us into luscious guitar riffs that are met with tightly knit drum patterns, there's a sense of optimism that comes from how this album unfolds. What we love the most is that at any given point, you can pick up on each instrument that rounds out the top-tier mix quality of 'These Days.' As a result, each sound has its time to shine and to amalgamate with one another.
Taking us right into the melancholy resonance of "Melody in Silence," we need to credit how the irrefutable timbres exclusively nuzzle themselves into the beat, furthermore, into our ears. Feeling the soul intended to harmoniously seek out emotions and thought, we get transported to this place of vivid imagination as we interpret the imagery of our own to match the narratives professed. "Melody in Silence" may not be the definition of mute, but it certainly brings a sense of stillness to our life.
Creating a myriad of layers in the blatantly surfaced sounds of "What's Done Is Done," there's a freedom that comes from this composition as a whole. Leaving us to turn the volume up and bask in lyrical motifs such as 'the brokenness is flowing like a summer dress,' we get to tap into our colorful imagination as Ben Harold & The Rising convey a magnificent performance that is more than memorable in our books. Leading us into the final track of 'These Days,' with poise and sophistication, Ben Harold & The Rising sure know how to form a tracklist.
Shuffling our way to the album's final piece titled "Steady as She Goes," we get to end on an intimate note of authenticity. Taking in all that was projected in the other nine tracks before the concluding tenth, we admire the sway of the relaxed grooves steering us into the prolific recap of 'These Days.' Introducing us to the angelic croons of a female vocalist, this addition leaves us with the perfect bit of closure to fill our hearts, minds, and souls.
One thing remains vastly apparent throughout the entirety of 'These Days': Ben Harold & The Rising have a sound that calls out to your attention.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Ben Harold & The Rising. Congratulations on the release of this flourishing project. You all sound so wonderful together, and we can truly pick up on the energy that takes you into a newfound dimension. Could you please introduce listeners to the band and how each member brings the vision to life?
About two years ago, when this band was first coming together under the name, "BenHarold" it became very clear from the start that the full band needed to be acknowledged because it was a true collaboration of musical talent, sensibilities, and input. While I (Ben) am the lead singer/songwriter, each member shapes the song's style and arrangement. Every song on "These Days" carries the personal mark of each member of this band and many were completely changed or re-recorded because of everyone's influence and ideas.
The Rising is:
Ben Harold: Vocals, Guitars.
Carl Crumbliss: Bass.
Dan Kolesari: Keyboards.
Joe Howard: Drums, Background Vocals.
Ken Zabler: Guitars, Background Vocals.
In terms of themes, sounds, and heart, what do listeners have in store when tuning into ‘These Days’?
Listeners, we hope, are going to hear themselves in these songs. They are a collection of stories all written during a time of major shifts in our lives--both individually and as humans. We just tried to give those themes the proper and most fitting vessel to carry them.
What was your reasoning for placing “Just a Ghost” as the introductory single on this album and “Steady as She Goes” and the record’s closer? What statement do you want these songs to make on the themes addressed and you as a band?
Just A Ghost means a lot to me personally and was the first song written for this project. It's a song that we think a lot of people can relate to and quickly feel like they understand what it means to live during These Days. Steady As She Goes came to me during quarantine as an answer to the inner upheaval I was feeling as an artist. It was the message I needed to remind me that no matter what you do, you can't stop life from pressing forward. Steady As She Goes, we will be together at the corner seeing smiling faces and tapping toes to music, together. Placing those songs as book ends just felt right and was really a no-brainer for telling the full narrative.
How much of ‘These Days’ is based on your personal experiences? How important is it for you to take this personal aspect into your creations?
I think it's all directly or indirectly a personal experience to me. These songs either came out of my own life or out of the stories of those around me. If you listen long enough to people you can't help but be moved. I think it's supremely important to write from a place that is personal because then it's genuine. It has to mean something to you in order for you to embody it in your performance. Those are the stories people relate to best.
How long did it take for ‘These Days’ to be created? Could you please shine a light on what the creative process entailed and who else helped to bring this vision to life?
The plan was to begin recording These Days at our own studio in early March 2019. Yep. We had scheduled everything out months in advance when the global pandemic shut the world down about a week before we were going to hit record. Over the next several months we did the little things we could do when we could do them safely. Eventually, with masking and vaccines, we were able to get together again to work on the project as a team. The benefit was it gave us more time and many of the songs developed into better versions of themselves. Everyone in the group really dove into each song and as a result, we found ourselves as a band through the recording and production process. Everything you hear on These Days is a product of a band who cared equally about each song on the album. You can hear parts that were written by every member of the group throughout--the only kind of band I'd ever want to be a part of. The album was mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering.