Ben Abraham music video for 'You and Me' - premiere

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The Independent Culture

Hailing from Melbourne, Ben Abraham is a new artist just signed to Secretly Canadian (War On Drugs, Antony & The Johnsons) who has been quietly building up a fanbase that includes fellow artist Gotye ahead of an upcoming debut LP. 

Zane Lowe gave his track 'You & Me' its first ever play on 20 January and you can now see the fantastic video for the track here on The Independent. 

It really is beautiful - Abraham's natural, easy charm and soft vocals complement the elegance of the video, and the overall effect is quite touching.

Listen if you like: Bon Iver, Crowded House, Villagers

Give the track a listen below and let us know what you think:

Q&A with Ben Abraham

What have you been listening to recently?

Ainslie Wills is my favourite singer right now - a fellow Melbournian and an incredible artist. Start with her song This Is What I Write and prepare to get tingles as she sings the line “it’s still you you got”. 

Rioux’s ‘Evolver’ EP is also super tasty, ‘Blackstar’ because Bowie, and I can’t stop playing Ke$ha’s ‘Warrior’ album mainly because the instrumental breaks in Warrior, Thinking Of You and Supernatural are so damn kickass and surprise me every time. Try listen through the breakdown in Supernatural without smiling. You can’t - I’ve tried. 

Your sound is described as ‘cinematic folk’ – have you watched any films/heard any soundtracks that have inspired you? 

I was an aspiring filmmaker and studied screenwriting in the years before being a musician, so films have had a huge impact on me as an artist. 

I think spending so much time analysing narrative has given me an appreciation for ‘finding the arc’ in all my work. 

‘Sirens’ uses quite a few storytelling devices that I learned from the screenwriting days. The music and lyrics are full of recurring motifs, foreshadowing, cross references between songs and even homages to works by other artists. 

Not that anyone will necessarily listen this closely, but I enjoy weaving those things into the work because I love the idea that an album can tell a story that is more than the sum of its parts.

As for influences - I would say filmmakers like PT Anderson (Magnolia), Sidney Lumet (Network), Michael Haneke (Caché), and Edgar Wright (Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead) are inspiring because of how much they control their craft in service of the stories they tell.

Musically, Thomas Newman’s scores are always amazing - American Beauty and Finding Nemo are among his best. Jon Brion’s Punch Drunk Love score, Dario Marianelli’s Briony from Atonement, Jon Hopkins work on Monsters - all very inspiring.

Oh and Ashman and Menken’s work on the Beauty And The Beast soundtrack is a phenomenal example of storytelling devices employed through music and lyrics.

What was the first gig you ever played, and what’s been the best so far?

My first ever gig was in the window of a Melbourne cafe. I nervously opened for a friend and all I can remember is forgetting how to play an E Major on a ukulele halfway through Yesterday by the Beatles. I stood there fumbling in front of everyone until I got it.

My best gig so far was when I opened for Emmylou Harris on her 2012 Australian tour. It was one of those moments where I had to pause and tell myself “you’d better enjoy this because it’s not always going to be this amazing”.

'You & Me' is available now on Amazon, iTunes or at your local record store