Ben Osborn is a writer, songwriter, composer and sound designer from Oxford, UK, now based in Berlin, Germany. Coming from a poetic folk song tradition, his work draws also from electronica and classical music to create a space in which highly personal and deeply political stories can be told. Ethereal string sections rise and fade, complex electronic beats skitter, dreamlike piano chords drift into view: in less capable hands it might sound miscellaneous, but he weaves his disparate influences into textural tapestries that sound like nobody but him.
Ben’s debut album “Letters from the Border” was released in 2019 on Nonostar Records. The album received widespread critical acclaim, praised for “incredible orchestration, incredible words, a touch of Leonard Cohen and a touch of Björk” (BBC); it was listed in the top 10 albums of 2019 by CurveBall Radio and its title track was nominated for an International Songwriting Award.
Other works and collaborations have also appeared on Deek Recordings, Delphian Records, Hot Topic and Cuculi Records. A collection of his lyrics and poems, “murmeln um schiffland”, was released in 2017 by Moot Press.
Composed in the early days of Covid-19, The Fire draws inspiration from the feeling of dread and apocalypse that the beginning of the pandemic triggered in many of us. The soft piano melody is enhanced by percussive tones emerging from the piano, creating a heady rhythm and giving a driving power to the whole song, with an echo of artists like Grouper or Björk, complemented by an arrangement of analogue synthesisers, drum machines, live percussion and violins recorded at the Nonostar Studio in Germany.
True to his love of poetry, Ben Osborn has a way with words and sounds, bringing us on a journey through the four elements at times reminiscent of Nick Drake. Despite the feeling of fear and anxiety caused by the climate disaster that seems ahead of us, what truly transpires from The Fire is a sense of hope, and a desire to keep dreaming and striving for a better world. This is a true love song, a song about how love can help us pull through hardships and bridge the distances we face.
The Fire was produced by Ben Osborn along with Nonostar’s label head Alex Stolze, who also plays violin on the track. The beat includes samples from another Nonostar artist, Qruaer, making it a perfect fit for the label.