Sydney muso Ben Lee has pulled a Beyoncé and released an album out of the blue. Today, Lee has shared A Mixtape From Ben Lee, which features the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Luke Steele, Neil Finn, Ben Folds and a bunch more high-profile guests on vocals. He’ll also be giving all proceeds from downloads of the album to a charity.
The pretty startling A Mixtape From Ben Lee guest list also features Sean Lennon, Neil Finn, Azure Ray, Ian Ball (Gomez), Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Angie Hart (Frente), Mark Oliver Everett, Gelbison and Sally Seltmann.
Produced by Sam Spiegel (Squeak E Clean), the album has been in the works for a very, very long time. In a statement on the album’s Bandcamp page, Lee says the pair began their collaboration in 1998, and recorded intermittently for years with a number of singers until the project was temporarily shelved.
“This album began as an exploration of songwriting. I decided to write songs for different voices, and invite these singers to perform them,” says Lee. “All kinds of wonderful musicians came by and offered their help with recording. I should have kept better notes during the sessions but I know you can hear Eric Gardner, James Valentine, Rusty Logsdon and Alfredo Ortiz amongst many others.
“I am grateful to everyone who played a part in these recordings, large or small, remembered or forgotten.”
A Mixtape From Ben Lee is available via the Ben Lee Bandcamp page on a pay-what-you-want system, beginning at a minimum of $1, and is available to stream in full, below.
All proceeds from downloads will go to the Inkarri Cultural Organization, a non-profit group whose Q’ero Project supports the basic needs and development of the Q’ero people of Peru, the last living vestige of the ancestral Inca culture.