Benjamin Tod, founding member of dark country outfit the Lost Dog Street band will release his second full-length solo album, A Heart of Gold Is Hard to Find, through Anti-Corporate Music on 22 November. The album features 10 songs that fit with the dark and bold sound Tod has cultivated in his career. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering/Anti-Corp label headquarters, the album completed with photos by Bradley Methe, Tim Duggan, and Matt Heckler, and the layout and design by Cud Eastbound.
The latest single culled from the collection is “Saguaro’s Flower”, a devastatingly stark tune about love lost and the ensuing emotional agony. Tod‘s clarity and honesty in the vocal performance is heart-stopping, not dissimilar to John Moreland’s ability to speak previously unspoken truths sans hyperbole. If, as late Morphine frontman Mark Sandman once sang, a day comes when there is a cure for pain, “Saguaro’s Flower” may be a premonition of that moment, a way to stave off the ghosts that haunt the heart as the embers of ache flicker for the last time and remind us of what once was.
Speaking about the collection, Tod offered the following observations:
“This album was recorded with a 1956 guild F-20 and my fading vocal cords in the spring of 2019 with my good friend and business partner Dan Emery from Black Matter Mastering in Nashville. This is the first album I have ever recorded completely sober dating back to my first when I was 14 years old. Every song on this album is for someone. Obviously, a couple are for my wife, Ashley. The rest go to some family, some friends and some people I no longer speak with. I have written thousands of songs in my lifetime, and a good portion of them are either dedicated to someone or had someone heavy on my heart in the process. Some of these songs I wrote weeks before I recorded this album and some of them, I wrote a decade ago,” he says.
“I thought it was important to release an album unique to me and universal at the same time,” he continues. “We all have dialogues with people in our lives the way these songs unravel. Yet, these are my imaginary conversations. It was very cathartic recording this album, and I hope it inspires you to say the things you’ve always wanted to say to the people you love. The truth will set you free.
This album is dedicated to the living,” he adds. “This is all we have. Cherish it and sacrifice everything to become the person you wish to be. No matter who you blame, you are the only person you have to live with. Fight like hell for freedom.”