“You must have faith in the spring / In the bulbs and everything,” Ben Watt sings on “Spring,” a gorgeous track from his upcoming album Hendra. If anyone knows about rebirth, it’s Watt. The veteran British musician has reinvented himself many times over since his first solo album, North Marine Drive, in 1983—most famously as half of Everything But The Girl with Tracey Thorn, but also as a DJ and an author; during much of that time he’s also battled the often fatal disease Churg-Strauss Syndrome. Hendra is his first solo album since North Marine Drive, and while it recaptures a similar vibe of minimal, soulfully jazzy folk, it also leaves room for the majestic, almost Big Star-like ballad like “Spring,” which features former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and is being given its North American debut here. And after the winter we’ve been having here in the States, “Spring” is more than welcome.
Hendra will be released April 29 via Watt’s own imprint Unmade Road.