Quite simply, Ben Lee is a national treasure and we are beyond elated to present his hotly anticipated 20th (!!!) album - I'M FUN! - as our next Waxx Lyrical Feature Record. The outspoken, cheeky, occasionally controversial, always entertaining and ultimately lovable Ben has undertaken many roles over his illustrious 30 year career - musician, singer, actor, personality activist and podcaster to name a handful - but his most important is arguably that of a songwriter. He has crafted some of the best, the most celebrated, catchiest, boppiest and beautifully nostalgic tunes in Australian pop history.
I'M FUN! sees the man return to the people-pleasing sonics of his masterful 2005 fan favourite, Awake Is The New Sleep. It's a cohesive piece of work, an affable and reflective collective of songs that effortlessly stand beside his very best. It's an affirming, open-hearted celebration of all things but not limited to growing up, being a weirdo and embracing positivity. In 2022, we sure can stand to learn a thing or two from Ben Lee, his unconventional thinking and views on life - the well-timed release of I'M FUN! and heightened profile of the man himself (follow his TikTok and podcast immediately, if you don't) might just the perfect antidote the world needs right now.
THE FACTS :
Artist: Ben Lee
Title: I'M FUN!
Label: Ten Fingers Records / Warner Music Australia
Vinyl: 1LP / Standard Black vinyl
Become a Waxx Lyrical club member and sign up for three months (or more) before 9am Thursday
August 29th and receive as a bonus automatically.
In his 30-year music career, Ben Lee has been gloriously prolific and unpredictable, for better or worse. He cut his teeth at the tender age of 14 as singer and guitarist for Sydney rockers Noise Addict and went solo at 17. There have been chart hits ('Cigarettes Will Kill You', 'Gamble Everything For Love', 'We're All In This Together' and 'Catch My Disease' – "That one's put food on the table more than a few times,” he says). An instrumental album inspired by the use of psychoactive drugs (Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work). An album for kids (Ben Lee Sings Songs About Islam For The Whole Family).
During the pandemic, he had two songs incidentally become unofficial anthems, one of unity ('We're All In This Together') and one that wasn't actually about COVID having first appeared in 2005 ('Catch My Disease').
He says of the former: "One of the things that really came out of the journey of that song for me, was the realization that it's genuinely not up to us when our art is going to be useful to people. It opened me up to this feeling of not knowing what was going to happen, and that was really cool."
Last year, Ben Lee made his triumphant return with his brand-new anthem 'Born For This Bullshit'. "It’s about positivity, swagger, keeping your chin up, even though we’re in total global chaos, true crisis, but still kinda choosing to enjoy the ride,” says Ben. Revealing his identity as The Masked Singeraround the release, Ben has since announced has toured twice, playing to appreciative, open-armed audiences, and released three more rather excellent singles - 'Parents Get High', 'Like This Or Like That' and, most recently, 'Arsehole' - all interesting in their own right for very different reasons. Take ‘Like This or Like That’, for example, it's the perfect reflection on keeping an open mind and seeing something from another perspective. The Beatles or the Stones? Nirvana or Pearl Jam?
“It’s a good time, man. Getting older, getting weirder, getting better... Being an artist moving to the beat of your own drum, its a perilous adventure not for the faint of heart."
His lighthearted latest - 'Arsehole' - is a reflective look back at his own past, ending with a final verse of hope dedicated to his daughter - “let your dreams fill you with struggle and fury, let your world be strange // and even if later you realise you’re an arsehole, it’s never too late to change.” Camp Cope's Georgia Maq features on this one, her powerhouse vocals add a considered punch to the track’s stripped back instrumental. Other special guest across the album include Zooey Deschanel, Christian Lee Hutson, Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Megan Washington, and Eric D Johnson (Fruit Bats). While his original plan to record with a live band became another victim of the pandemic, Ben instead made the album remotely, with producers including Jon Brion, Shamir, Sadie Dupuis and Darren Seltmann.
“This album, this moment in my career, is all about balancing some hard-earned wisdom from a 30-year long career with the vigor and energy of youth. That’s why it was as important to me to collab with artists like Jon Brion and Money Mark who I’ve both known for over two decades, as much as people like Shamir and Georgia Maq who are young and lit up with creative adrenaline. I like being a generational bridge between freaky artists. They are my tribe!”
Born For This Bullshit
Parents Get High
Like This Like That
The Good Stuff
Sex And Drugs and Rock N Roll
First single 'Born For This Bullshit'
And the excellent latest single, 'Arsehole'
DID YOU KNOW?
The Waxx Lyrical Feature Record is an additional record which will be included in all club members' monthly pack as soon as it's available at no extra charge. It's a frontline new release that we are keen for everyone to hear. Past Feature Records have included albums from Gretta Ray, Baker Boy, Client Liasion, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Flight Facilities, Methyl Ethel, Alison Wonderland and Luke Steele. Not too shabby, right?
HOW DO I GET THIS EXCELLENT NEW RECORD?
Current club members -
Do nothing - sit back, nab a brew, boil the kettle or pour yourself a vino and await the arrival of your bonus record which will be included in your monthly pack alongside the current ROTM. Unpack. Spin. Enjoy!
Not yet a club member?-
Don't panic! Click the button below and become a club member in mere minutes. Select the 3 Month Subscription (or more) to take advantage of this exclusive offer.
Waxx Lyrical's monthly box includes a variety of items based around the Record Of The Month, but there are often times when we'll send you an additional Feature Record like this one, as well as various other goodies.