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Gomez's Ben Ottewell Premieres New Album, 'Rattlebag' — Exclusive

Today we’re thrilled to bring you a preview of Ben Ottewell’s new album, Rattlebag, in its entirety.

As a singer and lead guitarist in rock band Gomez, Ottewell is well known for his unmistakable voice and talent for blistering and inspired guitar solos. Rattlebag releases on October 27 on The End Records/ADA.

The album opens with the title track, notable for a straightforward acoustic, riffy guitar intro that explodes into a full-blown rock and roll anthem. It sets the stage for an album of whispers, shouts, taps on the shoulder and slaps across the face (metaphorically, of course!).

Ottewell’s vocals are in excellent form, and the layers of piano, acoustic, electric guitar lines, organ, percussion and more are satisfyingly mixed.

Ottewell’s mastery of the role of the guitar in his arrangements is clear here. From delicate arpeggiated riffs to full blown strums, lead lines, steel bends and more, Rattlebag is an inspired creation.

"When it came to writing for Rattlebag I started afresh and all the songs were written specifically with the album in mind over a 12 month period, perhaps making the album a little more cohesive.” Ottewell explains. “I'm a great believer in the power of the riff, not just in the bombastic Zeppelin sense but also the more cyclical blues or folk licks, and most of the songs are written with a riff as the foundation. Once these ideas were formed, some as just a verse, some almost full songs, I'd take them to Sam [his writing partner, Sam Genders of English folk band Tunng] and we'd finish them. The recording took 5 days in Los Angeles with producer Will Golden, the other key ingredient. We got in some great players and Clay Blair who is a fantastic engineer. It's the most fun I've had in a studio since those early Gomez records."

Listen here:

Ottewell released his first solo album Shapes & Shadows (ATO) in 2011, featuring such beautiful acoustic tunes as “Blackbird,” “Shapes and Shadows” and “Take This Beach,” which appeared on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Since then, Ottewell has been pleasing audiences with a series of successful solo tours across the UK, US and Australia.

On his newest record, Rattlebag, Ottewell once again collaborated with childhood friend and his Shapes & Shadows writing partner Sam Genders, previously of Tunng.

Simultaneously stripped-down and lush, the album is a collection of beautifully poetic tales of salvation and redemption, of sanctuary and braving rocky seas in search of distant shores. Ottewell’s infectious melodies and bluesy riffs will stick with you, and beg you to sing along.

Rattlebag is a record that transcends, appealing to Gomez fans for the recognizable sound they have come to love, and going beyond into a fresh new direction, evoking Americana and folk influences to create something that can be uniquely labeled as Ben Ottewell.

“There’s a time and place for us / I will take you there,” he sings (“Shoreline”). Ottewell proffers hope and promise accompanied by sublime acoustic and slide guitars, and that’s something we can all use.

Pre-order Now!

Rattlebag is released in Australia & New Zealand October 24 through Cooking Vinyl and October 27 in North America via The End Records.
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Rattlebag is released in the UK & Europe December 8 through Sunday Best Recordings.
Purchase here:

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Laura B. Whitmore

Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.