Ben de la Cour is a folk musician with the songwriting acumen of a young Nick Cave and the lyrical wisdom of a vitriolic Leonard Cohen. His songs are stark, melancholic, and packed with emotion.
Darkness and mystery abound as rising singer/songwriter Ben de la Cour walks the line between love and obsession in his haunting new video for “Down to the Water’s Edge.” Credited by Red Line Roots with offering “subtle hints of Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen,” de la Cour’s dark and sometimes humorous style is making the well-traveled singer the face of the increasingly popular Americanoir sound. Described by de la Cour as a “creepshow manifesto” in which the narrator obsesses over his unknowing victim, “Down to the Water’s Edge” is the first single from de la Cour’s forthcoming Midnight in Havana album. Midnight in Havana will be released via Nashville’s Flour Sack Cape Records, a label that “aims to document the constantly evolving sound of one city.” More information on de la Cour is available on his official website.
The “Down to the Water’s Edge” video was directed by Jay Wasley, who has his own production company called Sun House Films and is known for his work on the hit television show Ghost Adventures. According to de la Cour, the goal was to capture the mysteriously intriguing mood of legendary director David Lynch:
“I didn’t want it to be just another boring vanity project where I’m walking through some lonesome field with my guitar. Jay and I are both huge horror movie fans and I’m really into David Lynch. I love the way he uses the suggestion of a linear plot in his movies, kind of like a writer would. I wanted a scenario that would allow viewers to draw their own conclusions. We filmed it over the course of a few days in a barn out in the boonies, not far from Nashville.”
After growing up in Brooklyn, de la Cour set out to see the world as an amateur boxer, bartender, and agricultural worker. His extensive travels have taken him to some strange and sometimes dark and desperate places, places he documents so eloquently on Midnight in Havana. Tales of substance abuse, murder, and mental illness sit in perfect juxtaposition with playful lightheartedness and an ever-present glimmer of hope. However, upon closer inspection, darkness almost always wins. An unlikely hero, but one that suits de la Cour.
Prepared by Samuel Morris