Welcome to our music series featuring the best in fresh, exciting Irish music.
Every month, we'll profile a new (or relatively new) Irish band or artist, give you a flavour of what they're all about, let you know what they're up to lately - and most importantly, let you hear their music.
The sixth act in the series is Ben Carrigan.
WHO IS HE? He's the man formerly known as the drummer in dreamy Irish indie-poppers The Thrills, who released three albums and split in 2008.
WHERE IS HE FROM? Dublin.
WHAT'S HE BEEN UP TO SINCE THE THRILLS SPLIT? "I essentially took myself back to school and spent a couple of years studying and honing my skills in orchestration and arranging," he explains. "In 2011, I released my debut solo album, The Greatest Narrators - and more recently, I’ve been working on film, TV, games and commercial projects and have set up my own audio post production studio. I love it! It’s so diverse and is really inspiring."
WHAT DOES HIS MUSIC SOUND LIKE? The schooling in orchestration makes sense when you hear his lush debut album, which harkens back to '70s pop and AOR; to our ears, his new single 'The Sweetest Stories', featuring vocalist Thom Cross, sounds like The Divine Comedy fronted by Gavin Friday. Either way, it's all good.
WHO ARE HIS INFLUENCES? "I definitely have some quite specific influences that have been a constant over the last number of years: Carole King (Tapestry), Brad Mehldau (Largo), The Cardigans (Long Gone Before Daylight), Aaron Copland (Appalachian Spring), Scott Walker (Scott 4), Tom Waits (Closing Time), James Newton Howard (The Village - Soundtrack), Igor Stravinsky (Rite Of Spring), M83 (Oblivion - Soundtrack), Charles Mingus (The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady). To be honest though, I can find influence and inspiration anywhere from Taylor Swift to Penderecki and covering all sorts of areas from production, playing style, instrumentation, arrangement/orchestration, songwriting etc."
WHAT'S HE UP TO NEXT? The single is released this Friday, while a second solo album is in the works, tenatively planned for early 2016. "I’m frequently juggling film, television and other audio post production projects that pop up periodically, so it can be hard to be specific," he says. "Not being signed to a label these days, I’m under no external pressure to meet deadlines, only my own pressures and expectations. I’ll just keep working on it and following my own instincts until I’m satisfied that it’s finished."
CAN WE HAVE A LISTEN? Hear 'The Sweetest Stories' below; listen to 'The Greatest Narrators' on Spotify below that, too.