Ben Lee: “I’ve always been interested in being a cheeky bastard and stirring the pot”

Ben Lee. Credit: Byron Spencer
(Image credit: Byron Spencer)

For the better part of the past half-decade, Ben Lee has been in his “passion project” era. In the five years that followed his 11th album – 2016’s Freedom, Love And The Recuperation Of The Human Mind – the Sydney-native indie-pop hero (and shitposting pioneer) released an album of children’s music about Islam (Ben Lee Sings Songs About Islam For The Whole Family), a musical epic about beer (B Is For Beer: The Musical), a covers record of songs that inspired Lee in his teens (Quarter Century Classix), and two records as one half of Radnor & Lee with How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor. 

Now, Lee has returned to his roots for I’m Fun! – an album of quirky, folk-tinged indie-rock and pop bangers that sees him come to terms with the fact he’s hit his 40s, but with the energy and effervescence of a 13-year-old after one too many red cordials. And in the spirit of making a party record, Lee’s filled up the guest-list with bonafide icons, recruiting the likes of Sadie Dupuis (aka Sad13), Sally Seltmann, Washington, Eric D. Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Georgia Maq and Shamir. 

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…