Ben Watt releases ‘Summer Ghosts’

Friday 17 January 2020: ’Summer Ghosts’ is the latest single to be taken from musician-writer-DJ Ben Watt’s upcoming fourth solo LP, ‘Storm Damage’, out on 31 January 2020.

Ben Watt will play on Saturday 7th March 2020 at The Castle & Falcon Birmingham. Tickets available here.


It follows the recent singles ‘Figures in the Landscape’ (Spotify New Music Friday UK playlist) and ‘Balanced on a Wire’ described by Black Book as ‘one of the most visceral pieces of music he’s ever recorded’ and premiered on Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6 Music show.

“Sonically, it set the tone for the album,” says Watt of the track. “It was first thing I wrote where I pictured the whole production concept – the piano trio, the trap-influenced drums, the synth drones, the cut-up samples, the dense semi-spoken lyrics.”

“I got the title after I met John Grant one night,” he continues. “He told me about the Japanese summer tradition of ghosts appearing in August, not – as we often imagine here – in the darkness of winter. I was writing a song about how hard it is to shake your past off, how experiences from years ago can still turn you upside down. The inversion in the title seemed perfect.”

“The last verse is then set in Hull where I first met Tracey. I revisited the city in 2017 and was struck by the optimism surrounding its year as City of Culture, but was also moved by the clear scars of economic austerity and my own memories of the place.”

In a 9/10 review of ‘Storm Damage’ Uncut says Watt’s “solo renaissance continues”, describing the record as “the third in his excellent recent run of solo albums” and how “the crespuscuar mood, low-simmering anger and abundance of inventive details … evoke Watt’s early mentor Robert Wyatt at his most enthralling and adventurous”. Watt’s late-flowering return to solo songwriting and singing started six years ago after seventeen years in multi million-selling duo, Everything But The Girl with Tracey Thorn followed by ten years an acclaimed DJ-remixer-label boss with Buzzin’ Fly.

2014’s acclaimed ‘comeback’ album, Hendra won Best Second Album at the AIM Awards, UK. It was followed by Fever Dream in 2106, which caused the Guardian to comment, “In his early fifties Watt in making some of the best music of his career.”

Watch the lyric video for ‘Summer Ghosts’ here: