In 2019 Blaenavon, the much-beloved band with whom Ben released two widely acclaimed albums, was dissolving and he was receiving treatment in psychiatric hospitals. It was during his recovery that he started to create new music.
His debut solo record, ‘episode’ is a majestic, multi-faceted and emotionally wrenching record born out of a period of profound personal upheaval. The album began to come together during his recovery. With breath-taking instrumentals and dark, insightful lyrics, Gregory – with the help of producer and old friend Blaine Harrison of Mystery Jets and engineer Matt Twaites – pushed his music to genre-bending limits.
episode was written over a ten-day period, the eight songs that would become the album sprawled out across the vast emotional spectrum Gregory had experienced in the months beforehand. It was important, he says, “that the representations of different emotions highlight those emotions at their most extreme. That’s how it’s been for me generally, especially during and after bipolar episodes. Depression that couldn’t possibly ever end, guilt that you’ll never get over, yearning that will never be fulfilled, love that will last forever. Silly things like that.”
episode is a record of unbelievable capacity, in which is to be found true catharsis; the type of record that does not come around often.