Ben Power was the first person I interviewed on this site. And I’m glad I did. My first interaction with him stemmed from a review I wrote for his Cromlech Records debut, The Time For Silver Flowers, under his moniker Bleach For The Stars. The intial moment Ben’s soundscapes graced my ears I was unnerved yet wholly enraptured. Silver Flowers‘ liner notes provided some chilling details about Ben’s past, but after re-reading and absorbing them as I let his meditative waves of static drench my ears, I felt compelled to understand more about him, his past, and how he began producing music.
In hindsight, I probably went overboard with the number of questions I asked him, but his warm receptiveness pushed me deeper into an abyss. I learned a great deal about Ben—probably more than he’s willing to divulge to most—but from these exchanges I discovered and explored a harrowing depth of what music can embody and represent for an artist.
His new record, A Barren Crowd, is a direct prequel to Silver Flowers and while it’s relatively comparable in sound, its context is immensely darker. It recounts Ben’s listless days spent in psychiatric care, the moment he cracked in solitary confinement, his conflated memory of a patient being set ablaze. It’s his past revisited and coagulated in sound.
In the video below, Ben and I speak at length about A Barren Crowd and Silver Flowers. It gets dreary in parts, but it’s a plunge worth taking. Thank you so much for listening.
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You can support Ben by grabbing a copy of A Barren Crowd, The Time For Silver Flowers, or any one of his other Bleach For The Stars albums at his Bandcamp page. I highly recommend each record, especially A Barren Crowd as Ben’s descriptions from our conversation detail some unsettling backstory to what the songs actually represent. Thank you for your continued support.