Benjamin Booker announces new album ‘Witness’

He’s also shared the title track, which features Mavis Staples.

Photo: Neil Krug
Three years on from the release of his debut album, Benjamin Booker is set to release his new album ‘Witness’ on 2nd June through Rough Trade. Recorded at The Isokon Studio in Woodstock, New York and the New York City’s Red Delicious studio, the ten tracks promise to dig more deeply into Benjamin’s love for eccentric soul music, R&B, and blues, while still maintaining some of his garage-punk sound that defined his debut LP. Alongside the announcement, Benjamin has shared a lengthy statement talking about the past few years, and racism in America. He says: “Growing up in the south, I experience my fair share of racism but I managed to move past these things without letting them affect me too much. I knew I was a smart kid and that would get me out of a lot of problems. In college, if I got pulled over for no reason driving I’d casually mention that I was a writer at the newspaper and be let go soon after by officers who probably didn’t want to see their name in print.” He continued: “It wasn’t until Trayvon Martin, a murder that took place about a hundred miles from where I went to college, and the subsequent increase in attention to black hate crimes over the next few years that I began to feel something else. Fear. Real fear. It was like every time I turned on the TV, there I was. DEAD ON THE NEWS. I wouldn’t really acknowledge it, but it was breaking me and my lack of effort to do anything about it was eating me up inside. I fled to Mexico, and for a time it worked. But, outside of Pata Negra, I began to feel heavy again and realized that I might never again be able to feel that weightlessness. I knew then that there was no escape and I would have to confront the problem.” Benjamin has also shared the politically-charged and gospel-tinged title track from the LP, which features the legendary Mavis Staples. Speaking of the track, he said: “‘Witness’” asks two questions I think every person in America needs to ask. ‘Am I going to be a Witness?’ and in today’s world, ‘Is that enough?’” Listen to ‘Witness’ and see the album tracklisting below.

Tags: Benjamin Booker, News

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