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Episode finds Ben Gregory embracing recovery


Release date: 07 April 2023
Ben Gregory - Episode cover
06 April 2023, 09:00 Written by Hayley Milross

It was 2019 when Ben Gregory’s world started to unravel.

As the seams and confines of his successful indie band – Blaenavon – began to dissolve, the break-up messily intertwined with an incredibly torrid personal struggle. His first full solo record episode is the result of his recovery.

Away from the pressures of being in a band, but with the glaring beam of being a branched-out solo artist, episode dives into the feelings and emotions that spiralled during Gregory’s recovery and ultimately, in his own words, “working out how to get inspired again”. Within a 10-day period, this eight-track album was made, the product of bursts of divine creativity.

There’s plenty of experimentation within this album. Lead single “deathbed hangover” navigates away from anything Gregory has done before, with dense electronics layered over distorted lyrics. The figurehead of the album, the 10 minute long “blue sea blue”, is gracefully enchanting. Swaying between electro-funk and minimalist pop, and then segueing into something darker, it is the glue that holds the album together. Tender and somewhat innocent lyrics narrate the entire album, particularly on the twinkling “((fall away ‘till morn..))” and “manifest”, which both feel more like free-flowing trains of thought.

Although the core theme of the album is quite evidently mental health, it is a record that also looks forward. Album closer “god bless you” acts as the perfect outro, wrapping a tightened bow around a moment in time.

It could be easy to slot episode within a certain category – an album that is the product of trauma, burdened with the sadness of the event. But that would be incorrect here. It is not a distressing listen, more informative than anything. It is a record that embraces recovery and revels in the joy of reclaiming what you love and wanting to go further with it. Gregory’s debut is an album that tells a painful story, with a renewed sense of optimism.

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