PRESS FOR "BOWL OF PLUMS"
"His latest album, Bowl of Plums, alternates from twangy ("Thommy") to explosive ("My Lucky Stars, Part 2") to hymn-like ("I Like Your Size") with ease. Seretan likens the record to "a still life with dried flowers." The arpeggios and song structures are intricate, but the emotional heft is not."
"Mostly I want Ben Seretan to be my best friend. The video for 'Cottonwood Tree' doesn't give a fuck."
"Always stoked for new work from Ben."
"“You Took My Blues Away” with every bent note is reaching up towards the sky to find a solution before it all falls into a night of running and searching for the meaning in all that silence,–we’re just there for the ride.”
"One of the first things I noticed upon listening to the flowery music of Ben Seretan: how transformative his lyrics are. Ben is gifted with that rare talent that only a handful of artists possess; he is able to write delicate, psychedelic words that transform you from whatever place you are currently in, to a space of sunshine, wildflowers, and sweet tea. His music is timeless."
"Ben Seretan is able to spread happiness in immeasurable ways, and this time shows you that happiness can also be found in a fruit jar. Take a bite of this record, it's yummy." (translated)
"Seretan’s music is all about making the most of life, grasping the good and shedding the bad to allow your time to be as light and bright as possible."
PRAISE FOR "BEN SERETAN" (the album)
"Rock is not dead. About two weeks ago I received, in the good old fashion physical mail, a beautiful copy of a beautiful record by a beautiful man."
"Let’s just say, it all sounds beautiful and widescreen, and way different than anything I’ve heard today."
"Sometimes, there are artists that come and go, and sometimes there are ones that really blow you away, reminding you why you listen in the first place. Ben Seretan is, without a doubt, in the latter camp. The artistry on here is brilliant, and Seretan’s guitar chops are incredible. The guitar lines flow almost effortlessly, ebbing and flowing, coming and going."
"The fact is that the music of Ben Seretan seems to arise without a trace and without limits. Breathes an extended light, and you will find yourself in, no direction but not lost, you let yourself lull, fit the pulse of your heart to its modulations." (translated)
"No record in the songwriter’s elegantly powerful streak hits as hard as the monumental achievement that this review aims to bring into sharp focus: Ben Seretan."
"Here we get the first real glimpse at the truth at the heart of the record, a naked sincerity which forgoes being hip or clever or cool in an attempt to communicate openly and truthfully and connect with the listener."
"...it feels closer to a personal letter spoken through a cassette recorder."
"Seretan’s album, with a bed of guitars and Seretan’s raw vocals comforting in the same kind of way a crying person comforts another crying person."
"Mm – Ben Seretan is stark in lyric, sincere in voice, practically visual, and brilliantly ready at the pick-and-strum."
SELECT RADIO APPEARANCES
GENERAL PRAISE (YOU'RE TOO KIND)
"...carrying on the raga-style guitar work of an American mystic. A meditation of the highest order."
"The man in the picture is called Ben Seretan, he’s a Californian singer and guitarist based in NY, and he’s *good*."
“He basically just seems like a straightforward, energetic, unbounded hard worker on beautiful projects.”
Bedford and Bowery
"He easily comes across as an adept axe-handler, incorporating equal portions of shred, drone, and weirdness into the mix, but it’s his ability to drizzle in elusive pop elements and hook-laden sections that keeps me coming back for more."
"Welcome to the cosmos, Ben Seretan will be your guide. With guitar in hand and a floor full of effect pedals, Seretan brandishes his instrument like a weapon against the dark forces of negativity."
"…in all ways a religious experience, like meditating in a monastery or participating in a sweat lodge…What the audience received in this communion was calm, focused musicianship that centered the listener inward and let us urban dwellers escape the modern noise…Noisy spiritual comfort music for a noisy modern world."
"Ben Seretan is an extremely nice goofball who plays droney guitar and sings"
"Originals 'Pretty One' and 'My One True Love' are highlights, tempering Seretan's cavernous whine between swelling arpeggios and virtuosic finger-picking."
"Seretan tends to write hypnotic drone-based compositions that deliberately hijack the listener’s space-time continuum…Seretan’s music develops on a geological timescale. Like continental drift, the evolution is too gradual to notice in the moment but, from afar, the implications are profound and irreversible. You may struggle and fail to make sense of what you hear, but you’ll probably stumble across a moment of zen in the process."
"The five tracks cascade through all the elements that have become singular and familiar about Ben’s music - tender firm guitar playing, fervent vocals, immersive drones, floating words - crystallizing into a wholly new world, a “new space”, you’ll want to spend some time navigating, then eventually rest inside."
"Seretan is a veritable guitar hero…with a voice like a youthful, full-ranged Black Francis."
"I realized he was one of the best guitarists (by best I mean most transcendent--most able to supersede the material of music and tap into some sort of usually intangible emotional stratosphere)"
"I can say that I trust Ben with every decision he makes. He can take material for a song that, in the hands of a traditional songwriter, would yield a 3 minute piece, but he can take it and play with it for 20 minutes without it feeling dull."
"Your gospel feels so good against my Brooklyn right now."
In the Cac
ETC APPEARANCES AND COOL LINKS
There are a LOT of videos on the Internet featuring recordings of mine from the Free Music Archive (a great organization). These are three of my favorites of the literally hundreds: