Fresh off his album launch concert for Stone Fields, we caught up with singer-songwriter Ben Connor for an overview of the tracks that inspire him.
Ben Connor has been hard at work promoting his latest album Stone Fields for the last four months. A guitar-led, blues-heavy odyssey on parenthood, morality and lost love, the 12-track project was launched with an album party in Connor’s Katoomba hometown earlier this month. Accompanied by its lead single Photograph and its dazzling animated music video, Stone Fields consolidates Connor’s place within the broader rock pantheon.
For a closer look into Connor’s musical inspirations and the impetus behind Stone Fields, we spoke candidly with the singer-songwriter about the album promotion process, and how discovering other artists aligns with trying to be discovered himself. “That’s an interesting thing to think about actually,” Connor said when asked about his go-to playlists and favourite tracks. “As a listener I’m really particular about what I like.”
“And now, as an artist, I’m putting these songs out into the world with the hope that people will like them, but with the very real possibility that people are thinking, as I have done so many times for other people’s songs, that they’re crap.” While we at Happy Mag know that Connor’s work is certainly worthy of praise, the musician is still aware that, like any creative endeavour, success often comes when you’re “willing to fail at it and fail at it regularly.”
Connor’s tendency toward appraising his work is less a marker of its quality — Stone Fields consists of a rare no-skip tracklist — as it is a sign of his true artistry. Even the most accomplished of creatives are often their own worst critics, but Connor is nonetheless proud of his album-creating feat, and is particularly “confident that the music video Miguel Valenzuela made for my single Photograph looks awesome.”
It’s the same grace Connor extends to his own favourite artists and go-to playlists. “If I discover that an artist has written five or more of what I consider great songs, as far as I’m concerned, they are a great artist,” Connor said.
Below, Ben Connor runs through some of the great artists he’s discovered over the past decade and highlights their standout tracks along the way.