Ben Varian announces new album Quiet Fill on Plastic Response Records, premieres buoyant single “Butter”

Ben Varian announces new album Quiet Fill on Plastic Response Records, premieres buoyant single "Butter"
Quiet Fill album cover

Olympia songwriter Ben Varian has announced that his fifth “diary-novella chapter of patiently constructed song/mantras,” titled Quiet Fill, will be out February 3 via Plastic Response Records. The album comes out on tape and CD in a limited run of 250 and 50 copies, respectively. Word on the street is that these things sell like hotcakes, so pre-order quickly.

Varian has also shared the second fragment of the album (after December’s excellent “How to Make Coffee”). Peppy in the most low-key of ways, “Butter” once again shows what I find the most interesting about the musician’s idiosyncratic brand of art pop. There’s plenty of twee amateurs out there trying to sound like Steely Dan, but Varian’s stuff comes across more like Steely Dan trying to sound like twee amateurs. It’s a mixture of lyrical wit, chops, and decadence that’s just as unassuming and breezy in execution as it is pompous on paper. Pretty fitting for an artist who, in the words of his friend Jake Tobin, is “modest and sidelined, […] always demonstrating the longer-lasting benefits of subtle honest life-as-art living-writing over contrivance or gesture.”

Listen to the premiere of “Butter” below:

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