Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

LouFest: Band of Horses Is Back on Track with a New Album

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

LouFest: Band of Horses Is Back on Track with a New Album

Article excerpt

"I'm in Fort Collins, Colo.," Ben Bridwell says over the phone. "Home of the Colorado State Somethings!"

Bridwell seems in a particularly sunny mood this afternoon and why not? Maybe it's just a natural (or nature-assisted) Rocky Mountain high he's experiencing, or maybe it's that the group he leads, Band of Horses, is back on track with its new album, "Why Are You OK," which was released in June.

The album comes four years after Band of Horses' previous studio album, 2012's "Mirage Rock." Bridwell wasn't idle during that time the group released a live album, "Acoustic at the Ryman," in 2014 and last year, he teamed with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine for the album "Sing Into My Mouth." But he also hit something of a creative wall.

"I did, yeah," he admits. "But I also set out to make a slow- burn of an album anyway. I knew that I wanted to do the opposite of the last one I made, which was a bit like a shotgun wedding. The mode of that album was to work without overthinking it and to do it in a live atmosphere and not overcook the thing.

"What I had in mind this time was a more pored-over approach. Also, I was a bit gun-shy, I think, maybe from the critical reception of the last album, or last couple of albums. But everything happened the way it needed to happen. We could have rushed it and put it out last year, but I'm glad we didn't. We got better material in the end."

The other mitigating factor in the band's work schedule is that Bridwell's family grew in the interim. He was already the father of two girls, but he and his wife recently welcomed two more a year apart. "Irish twins," he says.

"When the two babies hit, it was like, 'Oh my God,'" Bridwell says. "So I was trying to find time for all this stuff, and it's not like I could throw it all at my wife 'Here, take all these kids. I'm gonna go screw off to some cabin or beach house for a week just to see if I can scratch up one song. …

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