Virginia-based artist Ben De Laurentis (founder of rock band Steal The Prize) paints us an unfiltered, confessional portrayal of the ups and downs of life in his debut solo album Liar For A Muse. Overall, the record is laidback introspection where Ben uses elements of folk, blues, and rock to construct a glimmering, soothing soundscape. The opener, “As Good As It Gets” addresses the what-if thoughts that we wrestle with daily. “As sweet as that is / I can’t help but wonder what might’ve been darling” confesses Ben.
Liar For A Muse does not depict an idealized version of love or life – in fact, Ben seems to focus on the flaws more than perfections. Take “Fill In The Blanks” for instance where Ben toys with the toxicity of assuming and how that can lead to a self-deceitful narrative:
In “One Woman Man” Ben wraps his head around the idea of monogamy and the ambivalent relationship we have with it. We desire it, but we also don’t want to practice it:
“I’ve got a liar for a muse / She gives me nothing to use” chants Ben in “Liar For A Muse.” The title track of the album is a semi-acoustic one where Ben shuffles through dishonest relationship that he is guilty of being caught. He further digs into this two-way guilt in “Whatever Side Of Me” where he admits that there are “Two sides to every story.”
In “Mine All Mine” Ben dances with jealousy where he uses glimmering strings and downtempo to craft a slow-burning groove. He quickly picks up the pace in “Should Be Easy” where he hooks you immediately with his marching rhtym.
“Not A Doubt” has probably the most soothing and nostalgic opening tune where Ben adds harmonica into the instrumental equation. It’s chill and has a cheery melancholia that is hard to resist. He further carries this mood to “Little Lion Tamer” where he puts himself into the shoes of a starry eyed lover – this is probably the most idealistic song in the album. But Ben doesn’t wrap up the album with the portrayal of a happy-ending love. His final track “Half Hearted Love” taps into a lopsided relationship where he is too addicted to someone who can’t reciprocate his emotions fully – yet he prefers the incomplete love than anything else.
Liar For A Muse is the depiction of all the flaws in relationships that people try to sweep under the rug – the what-if thoughts, infidelity, monogamy doubts, toxic partners, and jealousy. The album will be released independently on August 21st and is a taste of Ben’s sound as a solo artist. He is currently on tour and will be opening for the popular jazz-fusion band Marbin. Go see him in person:
8/23 – Icehouse MPLS (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
8/26 – The Handsome Daughter (Winnipeg, Canada)
8/27 – Ebeneezer’s Eatery and Irish Pub (Minot, ND, USA)
8/28 – Crock Peak Brewing Company (Spearfish, SD, USA)
8/29 – Luminous Brewhouse (Sheridan, WY, USA)
8/30 – Lewis and Clark Brewing Company (Helena, MT, USA)
8/31 – Filling Station VFW (Bozeman, MT, USA)
9/2 – Diamondz Event Center (Jerome, ID, USA)
9/3 – Liquid (Boise, ID, USA)
9/4 – Why Sound (Logan, UT, USA)
9/5 – Commodore (Nashville, TN, USA)
9/8 – Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari Arts Festival (Baltimore, MD, USA)
9/15 – Lazy Days Winery (Amherst, VA, USA)
9/22 – Paladin Bar and Grill (Stephens City, VA, USA)
9/28 – Be Kind Festival (Appomattox, VA, USA)
10/20 – Lazy Days Winery (Amherst, VA, USA)