Singer-songwriter and producer Ben Rice grew up in New York City in the early 2000s obsessed with baseball and rock n’ roll. He was just in time to savor an iconic run of Yankees championships, and relish Gotham’s rock renaissance epitomized by The Strokes. For Rice, these cultural touchstones were as American as apple pie. Today, New York is very different, yet the spirit of the city remains. The Brooklyn-based artist embraces big city Americana on his debut solo album due early in 2021, Future Pretend, an intimate and immersive record brimming with ruminations on culture, society, and personal evolution.
Rice wrote, produced, engineered and mixed all the tracks while his city was mired in the trauma and terror of the COVID-19 crisis, which conjured 9/11 fear and Twilight Zone-esque chilling loneliness.
“The Hard Road” features the lyric “future pretend,” which epitomizes the central sentiments of the album. The track’s lush and transporting mix of organic Americana and electro-pop production—a thicket of melodies and ambient textures—came to Rice after a transformative trip to Budapest to connect with his family lineage. While there, he experienced a symphony of sounds he later re-created with his production skills.
We happily offer the world premiere video for “The Hard Road” here, and then tune to The Curve Wednesday night, Dec. 16, at 11/10c for the DittyTV Debut of the video.