Ben Folds has confirmed the release date for his highly-anticipated new record, So There. The new record, which is set to release on September 11th, is a bold new step for Ben Folds in many ways, both musically and commercially, as this will be the first release off of his new label.
The argument could be made that record covers, as an art form, have not lived up to their fullest influential potential since the late 1960s, yet the cover that dons Ben Folds’ newest record warrants both a new artistic expression, and a new musical direction for the artist. Featuring what can only be described as a self-portrait, the cover shows an amorphous blob seeping out of Folds’ head, seeming to create a new individual that’s at once independent and dependent of Folds. Perhaps this record cover is meant to convey a message as to the new musical direction that Folds will be taking in his upcoming record. Releasing on September 11th on his new label New West Records, the record broadcasts eight new songs performed alongside yMusic, a New York-based sextet. Alongside the orchestral collaboration will be a 21-minute “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra,” which pairs Folds’ piano playing with the Nashville Symphony.
Although embracing a new method of recording by utilizing strings and an orchestra, Folds still remains true to his pop influences, with Folds looking to meld the two otherwise diverse genres together, creating something truly new and unique that Folds has never attempted before in his musical repertoire. The record release information follows on the heels of Ben Folds’ planned performance at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, taking place in a little under ten days from now. Folds has also been involved in a few projects outside of his main studio work. In 2014, Folds was a headlining performer at that year’s Bonnaroo Superjam Festival. That same year, he auditioned along with Liz Phair and Weird Al for spots in the Star Wars Cantina Band.
It’s been a little over three years since Ben Folds’ group, Ben Folds Five, released their record, The Sound of the Life of the Mind and the accompanying video for the single “Sky High.” There have been no significant plans for Ben Folds Five in the works, but perhaps once Folds has completed So There and the accompanying tour that we could see a new tour, and possibly a new record, with the Five.
So There will be released on September 11th. It will be the first Ben Folds record to be released under his newly-formed New West Records label.