Ben Folds has been a rock/pop mainstay for 15 years now, both as a solo act and with Ben Folds Five. Nick Hornby is an Oscar-nominated author responsible for “High Fidelity,” that excellent ode to music obsessives. Now, the two have collaborated on a new album together.
Lonely Avenue, out September 28 on Nonesuch Records, features music and vocals by Folds and lyrics by Hornby. The album also features string arrangements by Paul Buckmaster, who’s worked with David Bowie, Elton John and Leonard Cohen.
The idea to collaborate together came out of a dinner between Folds and Hornby in 2009. Soon thereafter, Hornby would e-mail lyrics to Folds, who turned them into songs. Folds said of the process: “I kind of ran the gamut between being as simple as I’ve ever been and sometimes having to go [Russian composer Dmitri] Shostakovichon some of them.”
The album will be available on CD, vinyl, digitally and in a special deluxe edition that includes four short stories by Hornby.