Australian teen fave Ben Lee just wrapped up work on his new, still-untitled
solo album in Los Angeles according to sources at his label, Grand Royal. Lee
recorded the 22 new songs at the Beastie Boys' G-Son studios with producer
extrordinare Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Veruca Salt) over the past month, laying
down most of the tracks in about two-and-a-half weeks including "Ketchum," a
song cryptically-described as being "about Hemingway."
The list of guests
who appear on this all-acoustic, folky set are as offbeat as you'd expect from
one of the brightest (and youngest) stars in the growing GR stable: Brad Wood
on drums and bass, Beastie Mike D (drums), Hole's Melissa Auf Der Maur (backing
vocals on two songs), Petra Hayden and her sister (violin, cello),
Al Bloch (My Favorite Martian), the brother of the Fastbacks' Kurt Bloch
(bass on one track), Grand Royal staff member Jamie Fraser (theremin), Patrick
Yonally (Johnny Go!) laid down some slide guitar and avant accordionist Miss
Mergatroid squeezed her box a few tunes.
Our source described it as a
"very folk-oriented record that's definitely more rootsy than the Noise Addict
stuff." Lee, who recently turned 18, just graduated from high school and will
celebrate the April release of his album by hitting the road in February with
Sebadoh. No word yet on who Lee will take on the road (although Brad Wood has
been known to sit in with him in the past).