Ben Lorentzen is a Norwegian singer songwriter, born up north near Tromsø, where the climate is harsh, the landscape is majestic, and the sun is hidden 6 months out of the year.
The newest single from Ben Lorentzen ‘Second man on the Moon’ is a song about self isolation. It’s a beautiful mix of the artists influences with a purposeful lyric and defined style. The song is about choosing isolation in stead of community, and how easy it is to make that choice sometimes, and how hard it can be to choose trust, love, care and be in communication with others.
“One image that came to mind is being soaked into gaming or internet or tv and let that become an ongoing, ever-increasing part of your life. That is why I used the screens in the artwork,” said Lorentzen.
He grew up in a family as the eldest of six children where music was heard and practiced all the time. His parents were fans of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash and the kids grew up listening to and learning many of their songs. His mom remembers Ben as a different boy who would beg her to sing sad songs that would make him cry. She could see early on that her son was smitten by the music bug and thus encouraged his singing and performing when family and friends gathered.
Ben wrote his first song when he was eleven years old. His song, however, raised eyebrows of some teachers who were concerned for his well-being. The themes of aging and dying were seen as too heavy and dark for a little boy. Ben remember himself as “a serious 11 year old, often lost in thought”, but he learned later on that his teachers contemplated contacting the social services.
Growing up in a strict religious environment, Ben often felt confine by it’s rules and regulations. There were endless lists of do’s and don’t’s. Music, however, was a blank canvas for creativity and expression. Music became his escape…a place of solace, a place where he could dream and breathe. He recalls, “having written my first song I was literally high for a week. It was something I had never experienced before. Over the years it became my religion, my gateway to the unknown, to the mysterious and to the spiritual.”
Ben Lorentzen’s first musical hero was Elvis Presley. Raw, energetic,and a little dangerous, Elvis embodied what a rock star should be. Ben was warned by his community, however, that Lucifer himself looked like Elvis… Nevertheless, Ben learned to appreciate rock, gospel, folk country & blues and developed a powerful appetite for everything american.Cars were one of those joys. He says, “there is nothing better than driving and listening to loud music. It is one of life’s ultimate high’s”.
Later on the discovery of Bob Dylan and his profound lyrical visions became Ben’s mainstay and laid the foundation for further discoveries such as Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Soundgarden and Tool. Traces of these artist can be found in Lorentzen’s music. Exploring the outer rims of pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and loss, Ben takes his dark poetic sensibility and with a Nordic twist ads his distinct flavors of alternative americana.
Ben Lorentzen has toured the world since he formed his first band at sixteen and played on all continents except Australia.
Lorentzen was first recognized as a songwriter, and has written songs as a staff writer for EMI Publishing Norway. This led him to write and record songs with critically acclaimed artists such as Martin Hagfors(Homegroan, 1997) and Paal Flaata (Rain, 2006). He finally got a taste of mainstream recognition as a founding band member of Brent with a top 40 single “Need to Need you” (2002), off of their album “Here & There” (S2, Universal)
In 2015, he released his first solo album called “America” (Nordic Records), an acoustic album rooted in the indie-folk tradition. Ben embraces the most enduring American musical influences and weaves it all together with his haunting voice.
Lorentzen’s latest release “Pains & Pleasures of Intimacy” (2017) is much like his earlier work in that it strives to strike a balance between delicate reserve and brutal honesty. Difference is that now it builds to explode with bluesy rock’n roll on occasion.
He calls his music Suburban Noir.
Ben explains that Suburban Noir is taking the perfunctory in our daily life of suburbia, and juxtaposing it with the inner realities of the ugly and the beautiful, the fear and surrender, and the rage and compassion that races in all of us.
“Music is my redemption,” says Ben. “Music has been the divine footsteps that I read in the darkest and in the brightest moments of my life. In my songs, I want to celebrate topics that disturb as well as uplift. I am singing about the beauty of death, how it frames our lives and gives it meaning. Not in a destructive sense, but how it points out what is really meaningful. I am singing about the importance of community, of forgiveness and of love. I want to remind myself and my listeners that despite the ugliness and difficulties of life, we need to stand together while we welcome the light and the darkness equally.”