With a two-decade presence in the scene, Stone Fields consolidates Ben Connor’s status with a guitar-led odyssey through fatherhood, unrequited love and the instruction to “kiss my ass.”
Ben Connor has today (February 2) released Stone Fields, a 12-track odyssey through the reaches of parenthood, morality and love, as told through textured guitar strums. There’s a throughline of melancholy that traces through Stone Fields, evident with the lovelorn album opener and lead single Photograph. The track’s underlying story — of missed opportunities, questions of morality and forgone love — is felt throughout Stone Fields, as part of what Connor calls “a kind of sweet, deep, honey-like melancholy.”
Whatever pain love brings on Stone Fields, however, is ultimately short-lived. On Girl Called Venus, the Katoomba-based musician details a newfound infatuation, singing atop bluesy riffs of a more joyous time “when life was like a lolly shop”. This intention to triumph over melancholy is elsewhere felt on blistering album closer Kiss My Ass, where Connor relishes in the titular instruction with gravelly vocals telling adversity to “get the fuck out of my face.”
“No matter how harsh the environment you find yourself in… there’s always this thing inside you, this invincible calm,” Connor says of Stone Fields’ more joyous undertones. “So, there’s melancholy in there, but I reckon there’s also a kind of celebration of life, love and beauty triumphing over adversity.” Such complex storytelling is only punctuated by the album’s sonics, which draw on Connor’s folk-rock range.
The singer-songwriter draws from the legends of his pantheon — from the Bob Dylan-like lyricism of Wish You Were Here to the ripply Hendrix riffs of Full Moon Rising— for a studio effort that spans from alternative rock to all-out blues. With mastering assists from Gotye collaborator William Bowden, Stone Fields consolidates Connor’s two-decade presence in the scene, all in an effort to find the “life energy [that] pushes you right back.”
Connor will launch Stone Field, the follow up to his 2005 solo EP Out Of Range, in his hometown of Katoomba. The launch event will take place on February 4 at The Baroque Room of The Carrington Hotel, and will see Connor joined on stage by a full band. Head here to find tickets and registration details for the Stone Field launch event, and scroll up to listen to the full album. You can also check out the offical music video for the track Photograph below.