photo credit: Jordan Taylor Fuller
Today Belaver is releasing his new “Mount Misery” single/video that was animated by 17 different artists from around the world. Watch the video here. Belaver’s sophomore LP, Lain Prone, is due October 22nd via Robert Ellis’ brand new label, Niles City Records.
Dust Reid, who directed the video, had this to say about the origin of the project: “Ben (Belaver) showed me this Medium article about how wikiHow exploits its artistic labor by hiring global talent through services like Fiverr and then having the artists sign an NDA so they wouldn’t receive credit for their work. This seems to be the general operating M.O. for corporations when commissioning freelance artists and it prevents the artist from building a portfolio which would help lead them to bigger commissions. We decided to use Fiverr but in our outreach asked each animator for photos, bios and links to their work and told them we want to collectively publicize who they were.”
Lain Prone is Belaver’s second solo LP, the follow up to his 2019 album True Love Of Crime. The record is produced by country musician Robert Ellis and spiritually influenced by Neil Young, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Modest Mouse, Daniel Johnston & Bill Callahan. Lain Prone is sequenced like a novel: the opening track “Here It Comes“ serves as the thesis, and ends with the lyric, “I know it’s hard out here with all these assholes, with their laws and with their loopholes; but the worst thing that you can do is to think you’re not one too.”
Returning to live instrumentation and careful arrangement with an energetic live band presentation, this album laments detachment in the digital age. In the track “The Bilow”, the narrator acknowledges an implicit trust in the universal winds that lead and bind us. The record concludes with a dissonant experimental song in the vein of Tom Waits that is a conversation with the narrator’s former self.
Lain Prone is not just a societal critique, but an ode to self healing. Told through a tapestry of tracks about life’s everyday struggles and self reflection, Lain Prone shows us a way to address the dimming “American Dream”.
RIYL: Neil Young, Modest Mouse, Pavement, Bill Callahan, & Bonnie “Prince” Billy
detailed map of where all the animators who worked on “Mount Misery” are from