Brendan Benson has been releasing solo records since 1996’s One Mississippi and What Kind of World, releasing 21 April via Benson’s own Readymade label, will make it his fifth. After 2005’s Alternative to Love, Benson took a break from going it alone by co-founding rock supergroup the Raconteurs with Jack White. Both Detroit artists have since made Nashville home and Benson has become a family man, hitching up and having his first child.
Of course, in Nashville has he has found a true musical family as well, as so many more have before him. On What Kind of World, these new friends joined in to lend a hand, including Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.), Brad Pemberton (Ryan Adam’s Cardinals), Mark Watrous (Loudermilk, Gosling), and Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet). The changes in his life have also led him to explore new themes in his songwriting in a more straightforward style. “I think on this record I’m saying a lot of things I never thought I would say,” says Benson. “Maybe I’m just getting older, but I don’t want to hide now in my songs, I just want to be truthful. And I’m realizing that the truth is really interesting—I’m more attracted to honesty these days than to convolution.”
Today on PopMatters we have the pleasure of premiering the title track from the new album, “What Kind of World”. Benson describes the tune as “one my favorites on the record. I think we captured an ‘80s, new wave sort of sound that I’ve always been obsessed with ala the Cars or Missing Persons.”