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This is my new album, "Class Dismissed." I wrote, arranged, performed, engineered, recorded, and mixed it myself in my home studio here in southern Connecticut. The songs run the gambit from picture-perfect piano pop to an improvised instrumental; from an ode to New Jack swing to a song about Brian Wilson. It’s all on here, really, and it’s only six songs long. So what are you waiting for—buy your own copy today!
ABOUT THE ARTIST
BEN GOTT never planned to be a musician, and in many ways, he isn’t one now. Piano lessons starting at age seven, guitar lessons at age 12, and several years playing the drums still haven’t added up to gigs, groupies, and expensive recording contracts with major labels. But he likes it that way.
Born in New Haven in 1979, Ben’s early musical exposure was broad and profound. His father, a medical doctor and nationally-syndicated columnist, played jazz piano every night. His mom, a registered nurse, kept Janis Ian, Paul Simon, and Al Jarreau albums spinning constantly. His older siblings, already out of the house when he was born, returned home with music in hand: Sting, XTC, Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Joan Armatrading, Todd Rundgren. There was more than enough good music—and some bad, too—to go around.
By the time he was in high school, Ben had already recorded two “hometaper” releases on his rudimentary cassette deck. A successful partnership with fellow Mike Oldfield fan and Coy 1 resident Robert Schaufelberger resulted in the formation of digital collective Institutional Harmony and a coveted practice room in the Hotchkiss School’s Instrumental and Choral Arts wing. Junior year, Ben bought his first analog four-track; a programmable Technics keyboard (complete with 3.5” floppy drive) arrived a year later.
College found Ben experimenting with many different sounds and styles (all collected on "If I Do This, Will It Change?," a 68-track collection available for free at his website, loquaciousmusic.com). During college, Ben released two albums: "Education in Reverse" and "Roomful of Losers." There were a few albums after college, too, most notably 2001’s "Nobody Cares About Ben," 2005’s "The Paine Road E.P.," and 2008’s "Bloom."
These albums were all practice, though, for his most recent release, a six-song E.P. called "Class Dismissed." Dedicated to Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside and featuring songs that recall the piano of Randy Newman, the pop of Andy Partridge and Grant Lee Phillips, and the shades of styles from New Jack swing to Windham Hill, Ben’s new album packs a lot of punch into 30 short minutes. From “(It’s Always) About You,” a slow jam that would have felt comfortable at a middle school dance in 1991, to “I Know All the Words,” a rumination on communication in the modern age, "Class Dismissed" gives more than a nod to its influences while trying to maintain a simple, no-frills pop sensibility. Written, performed, recorded, and mixed entirely by Ben in his home studio, and co-produced by e-mail with Australian (and fellow XTC fan) Simon Knight, the album is nothing more than what it claims to be: a sampling of songs by a reluctant songwriter who values melody above all else.
So what does the future hold for Ben? He’s certainly not going to quit his day job, teaching sixth-grade English. He’s not going to sell the car, buy a van, and travel the country. He’s not going to sign up to perform at every single coffeehouse in Fairfield County. What he will do is continue to make music that he thinks is worthwhile and will try to share it with everyone he can.