Ben Glover’s new EP, Sweet Wild Lily, will be released digitally on Proper Records on 13th November 2020. The four-track EP includes the recently released singles, Arguing With Ghosts and Sweet Wild Lily, as well as the tracks Broke Down and Fireflies Dancing.
“I hadn’t planned to release anything in 2020,” Glover says, “yet in the early summer, I got on a writing streak and also revisited some older unrecorded songs. Spending time in the studio and recording filled that part of me that needed to stay engaged with creativity. So much connection was lost when touring was cancelled due to the pandemic, and as an artist that is something that I missed deeply. It felt important for me to keep making music during this time.”
Glover has taken the production reigns on the Sweet Wild Lily EP, working alongside engineer, Dylan Alldredge, recording in Alldredge’s Skinny Elephant studio in Nashville.
Ben says, “I took a new approach to the recording process this time. Previously I always made albums in intense, focused bursts, usually over ten days or so. This time I intended to let the recording take its own pace and spread it out over several months rather than days. I felt that it gave the songs more time to come to life and gave me more time to sense what direction we needed to take them.”
Integral to the sound of the EP is the guitar playing of Colm McClean. A first cousin and long time collaborator of Glover’s, McClean would record his parts in Belfast and then send them back to Nashville where Glover was based during the 2020 lockdown.
Collaboration has always been crucial to Ben’s musical path. The songs Sweet Wild Lily and Fireflies Dancing are solo compositions but Arguing With Ghosts and Broke Down were co-written with Songwriting Hall of Famer, Gretchen Peters (Arguing With Ghosts was also co-written with Matraca Berg). Gretchen also features on backing vocals on Broke Down. The pair have been writing together since 2013, with their collaborations ending up on each other’s respective solo albums.
“Gretchen and I wrote Broke Down back in 2013, but for some reason, I could never get the recording of it just right. It fascinates me how sometimes songs can be a challenge to wrestle with in the studio” remarks Glover. “I finally feel though that we nailed Broke Down on the EP.”
Fireflies Dancing was inspired by the very scene that the first verse talks about. Glover explains, “I was spending some time in Mississippi in July, to get a break away from Nashville. One evening I was sitting on the porch with the guitar and there was a beautiful display of fireflies in the dusk. I played a chord and sang over it “Fireflies dancing on a July night’ and the song spilled out in about thirty minutes. There is a sense freedom in that song that appeals to me, especially in midst of 2020 during which times have felt very
Arguing With Ghosts, the first single released from the EP is a powerful exploration of the themes of losing a sense of the familiar, grief and the passing of time. The song features the vocals of Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Kim Richey. “Kim and I sang this song together on tour a couple of years ago. The recording wouldn’t be what it is without Kim’s voice. She brings so much to this song,” Ben says.
The title and opening track, Sweet Wild Lily, tells the story of a character trying to find her way back home to herself. Even though the narrative is specific one can’t help empathise with Lily as the world can cause us all to feel a little lost sometimes and get entangled with the story we tell ourselves.