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A Magazine for Sheffield

Mr Ben and The Bens Who Knows Jenny Jones?

Who Knows Jenny Jones?
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The Sheffield music scene can, at times, feel rather too homogenous. Straight outta Lancaster comes Ben Hall with Mr Ben and The Bens to gently shake things up. Knock on a few doors. Ring a few bells. Ben's new record sees him returning to the bedroom to produce expansive, off-kilter lo-fi indie gems, but this time his sound is enmeshed in electronic beats.

Who Knows Jenny Jones? is his mock opera, an ode to the titular heroine, Pitsmoor's finest, who survives alien abduction to discover the joys of disco music. It's ten whimsical odes which sound nothing like anything you'd ever expect. The tale is told through bursts of anthemic ditties and aural oddities. At times evoking the heady joys of early Shins or Decemberists, there's a propulsive otherworldliness and sonic playfulness throughout.

humorous lyricism

Musically, Jenny's journey oscillates between languid laments and rhythmic melodies. Taut and tight, we're afforded glimpses into her odyssey. 'He is the One' feels like the midpoint of an alternative indie disco, while 'Eight PM' could easily be a Wilco album track, and 'Celecongratulations' is joy abandon, an offbeat, experimental pop piñata which toys with the parameters of time and space.

Who Knows Jenny Jones? is one of the most impressive and singular albums you'll hear by a Sheffield-based artist this year, one which advertises extraordinary potential, showing a knack for humorous lyricism and a supreme knowledge of his craft. It's an album which should introduce Ben to a wider audience and put a smile on your face.

Rob Aldam

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