New gigs have been added via Songkick to ‘Tours‘, including a couple of shows at Scotchman’s Hill Winery on the Bellarine Peninsula, an appearance at Maroondah Festival, and a run of shows at Levantine Hill in the Yarra Valley.
NEW Smooth Sailing video
Filmed at the picturesque Torquay surf beach in Jan Juc, Victoria, Australia, this is the official clip for Smooth Sailing. Now, if some professional surfers feel like making their own version, well that’s something we’re totally open to discussing.
Also on YouTube HERE.
NEW reviews for Summer Lover album
“Summer Lover” is the perfect antidote to the long winter months…It will warm your soul and brighten your mood—what else could you ask for?”
MYLES O’NEILL SHAW, 3 PBS FM
“Ben has a rare talent! ‘Summer Lover’ took me way back to the summer of ’76—beautiful weather, beautiful girls and beautiful times!
THE COUNT, WAY OUT RADIO (UK)
“Another fine release and collection of songs from Ben that showcases his development as one of Melbourne’s emerging singer/songwriters.”
NEIL ROGERS, 3RRR
“Ocean Road is a new Ozzie anthem. Seriously can’t get enough of this song. I LOVE it! Makes me feel proud to be Aussie.”
MISS FIORE, SOUTHERN FM
SUMMER LOVER is also available on a limited edition CD (which includes a 16 page booklet and all lyrics) from Bandcamp.
NEW reviews for Chance To Love album
“My favourite local release at the moment.” Stephen Walker, SKULLCAVE, 3RRR FM
“A late night gem.” Jeff Jenkins, The Music
“He has a very interesting, sort of indie-folk/indie-pop-rock sound with some lovely, lovely songwriting.” John Carver, 3 PBS FM, Melbourne, Australia
“17 great songs!” Helen Jennings, ROOTS OF RHYTHM, 3PBS FM
Chance To Love album—17 tracks each receiving radio play across Australia, with Beautiful Mess being picked up by Amazing Radio in Ireland and UK.
Also available on CD from Bandcamp.
NEW reviews for The Stars Can See album
A certain soft David Gray warble to the voice, a hint of early Van in there too perhaps along with names like Ben Harper, Jeff Buckley and Jack Johnson, Melbourne singer-songwriter Mitchell’s getting feted as potential next big thing with this debut album.
It may be a bit early for that, but from the laid back soul flecked opener Go Now (which oddly sounds a bit like a medieval troubadour ballad in places) and the Johnson-like grooves of Your Hold Is Strong and a playful Cool And A Little Silly, it’s obvious he has the talent and the ability to make the grade.
Generally upbeat in its musings on life and love, it also shows Mitchell exploring the musical territory. Could Not Love You More posits a meeting point between the Beatles and Radiohead, Everything and Kitty Kat are both bluesy jazz numbers that respectively seem to tip the hat to Beck and Bobby Darin, while Moon Shine offers acoustic folk blues and the irresistible acoustic strummed Photo’s a nifty echo of the young James Taylor.
He closes up with the confidently relaxed country soul streaked We Win And We Lose Some, a beguilingly beautiful whole body massage of a song that guarantees we’ll be hearing a lot more from the lad in the months ahead.
November 2006 – CD Review, LONDON
Ben Mitchell is an Australian singer who lived in London for a while and got into the recording studio when he did. Mitchell is a sensitive man and sensitive men who write songs get compared to Jack Johnson and James Blunt these last few months. These aren’t really names the typical Americana fan gets into. It’s funny though that, for example James Blunt, before his big break, in a lot of reviews was compared to Elliot Smith – and a lot of people do get into that. This isn’t really the place to go deeper into that, but it does show that alternative fans don’t really like to hear their songs on Sky Radio.
The Stars Can See is still ‘alternative’. Now. No one (Major Label) owns it and on it we hear a singer/songwriter who shows his heart in an honest and sincere way in twelve different songs. Beautiful. Sensitive too. And yes, as a result you can compare it to Blunt and Johnson. And yes, there are songs on the album which can easily be big hits on the radio (and played on Arbeidsvitamine!).
He is an up-to-date singer-songwriter of folk-pop, with a sweet and passionate voice but something more happens here. Mitchell isn’t afraid of a big gesture. He never goes over the top yet he knows how to create theatre. At those moments (like in Superseeded or the soulful Everything) he reminds of Rufus Wainwright (or Jeff Buckley or even Antony). Look out for the dark jazzy love sing Kitty Kat. As enigmatic as Jim White can be – it is a striking highlight.
On most of the tracks Mitchell combines the intimacy of Damien Rice with the melody of David Gray. There is a lot to this Australian guy and lot has come out in The Stars Can See. Now it’s just waiting for the right people and the big break.
Melbourne is a city renowned for churning out musicians and its latest son – the unkempt looking Ben Mitchell – looks set to make his mark. After spending a few years in London where he gained some favourable publicity on the live circuit, Mitchell returned to his hometown to record ‘The Stars Can See,’ his debut long-player. As a first foray, it’s a remarkably confident record. Perhaps most surprising is that he has yet to be signed to a major label, but it is unlikely that he will remain homeless for long. Mitchell has a strong voice that adapts well to a number of styles, but it’s his song-writing skills that put him in a league above the litany of anonymous singer-songwriters vying for attention in the wake of the success of David Gray and James Blunt.
Opener ‘Go Now’ is a subdued minor-key ballad reminiscent of obscure Melbourne band Cordrazine but the mood is lightened considerably as Mitchell skips through the breezy ‘Your Hold is Strong.’ Soon, Mitchell sounds as if he’s captured the spirit of Alex Lloyd with ‘I Could Not Love You More,’ where reverb-laden vocals are driven by an ascending 1960’s-style guitar progression. After skipping over a couple of weaker tracks, we find the folky ‘The Stars Can See,’ the sultry ‘Everything’ and hip-cat ‘Kitty Kat’ which sounds like the sassier music used in Twin Peaks. The two closing tunes will appeal to Americana listeners; ‘Extra Mile’ is a sleepy number resplendent with subtle slide playing and woozy acoustic guitar picking reminiscent of Karma County. Yet Mitchell saves his best for last with ‘We Win and We Lose Some,’ a simple but beautiful song that James Blunt would give his eye-teeth to have written.
Kicking off a European tour in September, the singer is beating a well-trodden Antipodean path back to London. Mitchell sounds a major talent on this evidence and is well worth keeping an eye on.
Date review added: Friday, August 04, 2006
The Stars Can See—features keys and BVs by Claire Worrall (Robbie Williams, Stephen Duffy), drums by Pete Cuthbert (Rialto) and bass by Ben Sargeant (The Script).