Posted On 14 Jul 2017
Synth-rock artist and producer Ben Talmi has officially released his new full-length album, My Art of Almost! Self-produced at Virtue and Vice Studio in Brooklyn, My Art of Almost dwells in comfortable melodies yet visceral arrangements, hanging just below the surface of pop, and traveling downstream over tasteful strings. The album is now available for purchase via iTunes and streaming with CraveOnline and Spotify!
With excitement towards the release of his new album, Talmi explains, “‘My Art of Almost’ is an ode to my love affair with the creative process. A self analysis of the psyche of a 20 something year old musician with a classical music complex and basset hound obsession living in Brooklyn.”
My Art of Almost rose from a desire to create something new that stands solo in an abandonment of rules with a goal purely defined by process. The lyrics anchor in balance of melancholy and raw emotion told through real stories of personal failure and hope. This album was written heavily within the rabbit hole of ProTools – where simple songs took on geometric forms to complete a sonic puzzle.
Talmi, who was the front man for orchestral pop band Art Decade has composed in a wide range of musical styles from impressionistic rock albums with Art Decade (2012’s Western Sunrise and a self-titled LP in 2014), to glitched-out folk solo albums (2010’s For The Dreamers), an EP’s worth of string quartets (2011’s The Constitution) as well as orchestral arrangements for national touring acts such as Manchester Orchestra, Wild Nothing, No Wyld, David Monks (Tokyo Police Club) and many more.
As a composer and arranger, Talmi’s work has recently expanded into film and TV with the short film “Duke and The Buffalo” premiering at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. “Duke” has been picked up by A&E for a full television season with an original score by Talmi. In addition, Talmi composed an 80-minute score for “Circus Electronica” which toured to 12 cities in the Fall of 2014. The score combined the sounds of classical samples with glitched-out analog synth sequences, as well as live guitar work over a bed of IDM concepts.
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Learn more about Ben Talmi in the following All Access interview:
You recently released your newest album called “My Art of Almost,” which is a collection of your own songs. How do these songs differ than anything else that you have worked on in the past?
This was really the first time I didn’t have to compromise anything in the making of the album. I have my own studio space now where I can really do anything I want, there was no producer or band breathing down my neck telling me what to do. This situation was a double edged sward ultimately because any faults the album has completely fall on me. I felt freedom and confinement simultaneously.
You are quoted as saying, “‘My Art of Almost’ is an ode to my love affair with the creative process. A self analysis of the psyche of a 20 something year old musician with a classical music complex and basset hound obsession living in Brooklyn.” Can you elaborate on this? How exactly was making this collection a self-analysis? What was it like making this album exactly?
Right out of college I moved to Brooklyn with the offer to be part of a recording studio complex. Day one I showed up at an empty warehouse and began helping building the place with two other producer/engineers who I am eternally indebted to for inviting me to take part. Once the studio was built I locked myself in there and started recording and it feels like I haven’t left since. During this time my band Art Decade which I had been in since I was around 14 years old completely dissolved leaving me with a blank creative canvas for what felt like the first time since I was a teenager.
So, this newfound freedom to record as well as the opportunity to completely re-brand as a solo artist lead me to really scrutinize every creative choice I was making ultimately guiding the lyrical direction of the record to be a sort of self analysis of my own creative psyche. The basset hound obsession is because I identify with sort of a slow, short, not cool dog.
Do you think you prefer working on your own or with a whole group of people in a band? Do you work differently within those two parameters?
I miss being in a band so much it kills me, however I love the creative freedom of writing alone.
You have produced and composed music for so many incredible acts. Can you pick out a favorite moment or a few favorite moments from these other musical experiences?
Standing in front of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as they played back my string arrangements for Manchester Orchestras album Simple Math.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Jon Brion, Sufjan Stevens, Elliott Smith, Radiohead.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Never give up and it’s OK to fail.
What do you have planned for this summer? Are you going to be heading out on tour at all?
I have shows scattered around the summer but for the most part I am retreating to very quiet and solitary places to write my next album.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?