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The Full Story

Trigger warning: Suicidal ideation

 

Award winning Canberra Indie Folk Artist Ben Drysdale announces highly anticipated sophomore single ‘Listen Now’ to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention.

  

Key points

 

Following the international success of his debut solo single 'If I Don't Lie Down' in December, Canberra-based Indie Folk Singer/Songwriter Ben Drysdale is poised to captivate audiences once again with his award-winning sophomore single, 'Listen Now,' set for release on June 21st, 2024. The release will be celebrated with a performance at Smith's Alternative the following day on June 22nd, featuring special guest Niall Howe, renowned for his exceptional skills on the keys.

 

Ben's poignant ballad, 'Listen Now,' which secured 2nd place in the prestigious Hawaii Songwriting Festival's competition in 2023, is a heartfelt tale about supporting a friend through alcoholism and dire mental health challenges.

 

Inspired by a midnight call from a friend with a belly full of whiskey and a head full of despair, who soon revealed that he had recently tried to take his own life, Ben's heartfelt narrative reflects the power of listening and empathy in times of crisis. Feeling completely unqualified to deal with the situation all Ben could do was listen to what his friend was feeling and thinking and share his own experience of mental health struggles. After talking things through for a while they planned to meet up the next day to try and build a better support network and a plan to seek professional help.

 

The thing that struck Ben the most was that so many of the negative thoughts his friend expressed were familiar to him and so many others he’d talked to, it was just that his friends list of potential solutions was so drastically different. Ben was humbled and grateful that this friend reached out - instead of going through it alone and potentially joining the 3000 lives lost to suicide each year in Australia, 75% of which are men - and is happy to report he is doing well.

 

The song was co-written with Ben’s Nashville based songwriting mentor John Clinebell, and produced by Guy Lilleyman at Amberly Studios in Canberra with the assistance of an ACT Government grant.

 

‘Listen Now’ is an ode to anyone who is going through mental health challenges and a message of assurance that they are not alone. In particular, it is also a plea for men to defy societal stigmas and embrace vulnerability by seeking assistance when needed.

 

 “People who have thought about suicide say the most important thing family, friends and colleagues can do is listen, show they care, and offer support.” – Beyond Blue

 

If you or someone you know needs help now reach out to the following services:

Ben's musical journey, spanning over two decades, has seen him grace stages across Australia, Canada, USA and Ireland, both as a solo artist and fronting various bands.

 

Drysdale's musical prowess and heartfelt compositions have earned him a devoted following in the local music scene, and abroad. His unique blend of folk and pop melodies, introspective storytelling, and emotive vocals have established him as a rising star in the industry.

 

With a devoted following in the local music scene and beyond, Ben's unique fusion of folk and pop melodies, coupled with introspective lyricism, has garnered widespread acclaim.

 

More on Ben Drysdale: 

Drysdale has played shows in the US, Ireland and Canada and featured on bills with some of Australia’s greatest including Paul Kelly, The Waifs and Busby Marou as well as international stars such as Chris Isaak.

 

His debut solo single ‘If I Don’t Lie Down’ released in December debuted on the AMRAP regional charts at #7 jumping to #4 the next week, had a feature profile on the Australian Independent Record Labels Association Website, and has received rave reviews from music magazines and blogs around the world including the US, UK, France, Mexico, Ghana and Serbia with people streaming in over 80 countries.

 

‘’If I Don’t Lie Down’ encapsulates Ben’s unique and heartfelt compositions blending of folk and pop melodies, introspective storytelling, and passionate vocals.’ - Australian Independent Record Labels Association

 

His 2021 duet release ‘Either Way’ (with LA artist Justina Shandler) was featured on Season 3 of the US TV show ‘Good Trouble’ in March 2021 and MTVs Ex On The Beach in 2022. His unreleased track ‘I’m Flyin’ Now’ has featured on The Young and The Restless and received an honourable mention in the ‘Folk/Singersongwriter’ category of Nashville’s 2022 Unsigned Only Music Competition and was also a winner of the ‘Win Some Love’ promotion placing it in the top 3 of honourable mentions across all categories. His music catalogue has 38 music licensing deals across 10 agencies around the world.

 

More on Niall Howe:

Niall has been obsessed with noise and has loved playing music for over 40 years. His style is the result of classical training on piano and pipe organ, combined with journeys through folk, jazz, rock, funk, ska and swing. He blends all of this is together, creating eclectic layers that build new dimensions into the songs he accompanies.

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