Parry Sound-born folk-rocker Boxcar Ben speaks about walking on the path to self-acceptance on his latest single.
This Parry Sound-raised folk-rock musician has picked up speed here in Hamilton under the moniker Boxcar Ben, quickly gaining familiarity amongst the local scene for his Bon Iver-like styles and community-oriented attitude. Although the artist could fit under many labels, Ben makes sure to point out that his understanding of modern music was built on blues foundations.
"Lately things have become more engulfed under the modern umbrella of "alternative": alt-rock, indie-rock, folk-rock, it doesn’t really matter to me what type of music I’m making as long as it has some depth and enjoy-ability to it," said Boxcar Ben. "One of my favourite descriptions was Johnny Cash meets Post Malone, I thought that was an interesting take-away."
Ben is a lifetime Soundgarden fan, taking influence from a list of grunge and classic rock sounds.
"I’m all over the map honestly, I think that there’s validity and merit to pretty much every form of creativity," said Boxcar Ben. "Good music is good music. I’m actually a bit of a hip hop fanatic, big Aesop Rock fan."
The musician began writing his latest single, "Ghost of Yesterday", a year ago, performing it in the summer of 2021 during multiple live gigs.
"I wrote the basic song structure in a matter of days, the song writing process was probably finished after a couple weeks of tweaking," said Boxcar Ben. "The recording process took me a couple of months to finalize."
"Ghosts of Yesterday" is a personal acknowledgment to Ben himself, and to those in his life, that the artist has changed for the better.
"I am in a place in my life where I’m actively trying to create a positive self image, something that had not always come to me so easily," said Boxcar Ben. "Lyrically there’s a sort of representation of that cathartic release of the old ways."
Ben wrote, recorded, mixed, mastered, produced and marketed this single himself.
"I’ve put a lot of time and money into my recording setup, and have always thought that if someone else can do something, then I should be able to do it myself," said Boxcar Ben. "Hyper independence is both a gift and a curse."
Upon initial previews, Ben's listeners described the single as "sunny" and "nostalgic", proving that self-reflection doesn't necessarily have to be negative.
"I want the lyrics to connect people with a part of my life that I’ve grown fond of: my strength to pick up and carry on," said Boxcar Ben. "Moving on doesn’t always have to be drenched in darkness, and eventually the sun comes up, you know?"
You can help support Boxcar Ben by streaming his music, following his socials, and by checking out his website linked below.