Influenced as much by his relationship to Los Angeles, the sprawling city he now calls home, as to how he feels about the people along for the ride with him, the record finds new hope in overcoming the most current of conditions – isolation. “My wife and I got married, and the following day we moved to LA,” he says of the impetus behind the record. “The pace of California has definitely affected my writing process.”
Rabb’s indie folk sound, influenced by his youth in the Midwest and Northeast, and artists such as Damien Rice and Cat Stevens, has absorbed some of the warmth, and strangeness of the West Coast. Supported by strings and insistent percussion, songs such as “Working To My Bone” and “The Fight” are modern odes to self-discovery, an evergreen theme of folk music. “We really wanted to focus on allowing the arrangements to breathe, and trying new ways to do that,” says Rabb of the more orchestral sound they created. “It’s a huge departure from what I’m used to as a solo performer, where it’s just me with a guitar.”
“Alone With You” studies the unforeseen consequences of loneliness, while the closer, “Take Me Back” is a nostalgic, Americana influenced look back at Rabb’s youth. He cites “Anyday” as a favorite track. “It’s a song I wrote to give a voice to those who don’t always have the chance to use theirs,” he says. “The record’s all about stepping out on your own, but this is a song that highlights how we rely on others.” With an introspective sound produced by Mike Davidson, who worked on Rabb’s first record, Feel Me Fall is a timely and welcome addition to the American Songbook.
“Feel Me Fall is a defiant challenge to the listener,” says Rabb. “This is a collection of songs about gaining some self-awareness and realization. Being able to see the aspects of your life that need to change, whether that’s relationships, career, personal challenges, and having the courage to move forward. It’s my way of giving the listener hope and encouragement while challenging them, their roadblocks and myself. I dare you to feel me fall, because I won’t.”
In addition, Ben sit down to talk about the single and more!
Hi Ben, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi, I’m doing great! I’m currently on tour right now – so a lot of shows & driving.
Can you talk to us more about your song “Working To My Bone”?
I wrote this song when I moved to Los Angeles from New York City. It’s about having the self-realization in a relationship to let go and be confident about it.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I had a close friend who went through a big breakup around the same time as I moved to Los Angeles. Hearing about that breakup and making the big change moving away from NYC definitely had an influence on me getting started on that song.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
I don’t have any plans right now for “Working To My Bone”, but we just shot a video for “Alone With You” that will come out soon.
The single comes off your new album Feel Me Fall – what’s the story behind the title?
An overarching theme of the record is self-awareness and realization, and about having the courage to move forward. A lot of these songs are about overcoming adversity and Feel Me Fall is a defiant challenge to the listener and myself. I dare you to feel me fall, because I won’t.
How was the recording and writing process?
I worked with producer, Mike Davidson, at Plaid Dog Recording for this record. He produced my first EP so we already had a great working relationship and trust when I went into the studio. We really wanted the songs to sound full but not feel crowded while giving the musicians the freedom to try things out.
What role did LA play on the writing?
The writing process was different this time around for me. I wrote most of these songs after moving form NYC to Los Angeles and the pace of life definitely crept into my writing. It feels like I have more time to allow songs to develop versus in NYC.
What aspect of isolation did you get to explore on this record?
I spent some time on the road after making the move to LA and while you see folks every night at the shows, you spend a lot of time alone driving. When I got back from that tour it took a while to meet folks and I think that made its way into some of these songs.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m on the road now doing a 6-week tour from the Midwest to the Northeast then down South.
Jul 14-Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 3- NYC
Jul 15 -The Ballroom at The Outer Space-Hamden, CT
Jul 16-Radio Bean-Burlington, VT
Jul 19-Club Passim – Supporting Arum Rae-Cambridge, MA
Jul 21-Midtown Scholar-Harrisburg, PA
Jul 22-House Concert-Hartford, CT
Aug 3-House Concert-Philadelphia, PA
Aug 6-Acoustic Live – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival-Hillsdale, NY
Aug 10-WDVX Blue Plate Special-Knoxville, TN
What else is happening next in Ben Rabb’s world?
Right now I’m focused on playing the best shows I can on this tour and getting the music video ready. I’ll likely be headed up the west coast later this year for west coast tour.