Ben Folds has always had a bit of a classical flair about his music. Sure, he is best known for his piano driven alternative pop, but you can tell — in virtually any of his songs — that he has an ear for composition and sonic architecture. There is nothing messy about a Ben Folds performance: even when he gets forceful on the keys, everything always fits right into place.
That’s why his latest album So There, a collaboration with New York-based classical outfit yMusic, makes perfect sense. The ensemble have worked with many preeminent rock, avant-garde, and experimental musicians (their last album Beautiful Mechanical features different artists on each track) to create beautiful classical pieces, so tapping the talents of Folds — or vice versa — was inevitable.
“Capable of Anything,” the first single from the forthcoming project sees Folds dovetailing his upbeat piano and vocal stylings into a lush chamber pop arrangement. To hear him supported by woodwinds and strings is extremely gratifying in a way that surprised me. Like I think this might be some of my favorite work he has ever done. Though the song title belies some of the brooding subject matter — the baser things that we are all capable of too — I am willing to think of it as a confident self appraisal from Folds as he ventures down this new road.
So There will release on September 11, and you can catch him on tour right now.