Eddie Owen Presents: Ben de la Cour with The Weeping Willows
General Admission $20 advanced ($25 day of show)
BEN DE LA COUR
“Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” – Carl Jung
There are singer-songwriters, and there are troubadours. Singer-songwriters are sensitive, polished souls, sharing their journal entries with the world… whereas troubadours do their best just to stay out of jail. In the wake of Ben de la Cour’s astonishing new record, Shadow Land, you can add his name to the top of the list of younger troubadours to whom this ever-so-occasionally poisoned chalice is being passed.
Shadow Land shimmers. It’s both terrifying and soothing – suffused with honesty, craft and a rare soul-baring fearlessness but with enough surprises to keep the listener guessing. It gets down and dirty with electric guitar but also features Ben’s diffident fingerpicking in quieter moments. Ultimately, it is a darkly beautiful meditation on what it means to be human. Ben’s voice renders raw emotion with authority as he recounts tales of suspicious characters, lost love, murder, bank robbers, suicide and mental illness against a backdrop of a dark and haunted America. On the brilliant “From Now On” he sings “it’s hard to hold a candle / in a wind so wild and strong.” That one line sums up the troubadour’s life about as well as anything ever said about it before.
THE WEEPING WILLOWS
Every song penned by The Weeping Willows is a love song. They’d deny that, of course. These tracks, they’d claim, are works of imagination – tales of cruelty, tragedy, murder and betrayal, all populated by gamblers, sinners, infidels and travelling salesmen (read: wandering musicians). Ask Andy or Laura to define their work and they’d probably hit you with phrases like “cautionary tales”, “murder ballads” or simply “folk songs”, but in truth these are love songs – each and every one of them.
How are they love songs, you ask? Because The Weeping Willows are lovers – they are devoted to each other and to the life of the artist in seemingly equal measure. Have you seen them perform together? Have you seen the knowing glances they exchange as they harmonise their eerie, at times surreal lyrics over Andy’s patient, timeless ¾ strum? Think back to those performances, those moments of chemistry in its purist form, then try to convince yourself that The Weeping Willows were not singing a love song. Every note plucked or sung by Andy and Laura is a work of love. Every dark hour spent huddled together refining their sound in the dimly-lit backroom of their home on the Southern outskirts of Melbourne is a labour of love.