11 Artists That Inspired Ben Wright Smith's New Album, The Great Divorce

11 Artists That Inspired Ben Wright Smith's New Album, The Great Divorce

His new LP is out now.

Header photo by Jo Syme.

After releasing a couple of cracking singles over 2015/16 in No-One and Sand Grabber last year (which was on high rotation and racked up hundreds of thousands of streams online), 2017 sees the release of the Melbourne singer/songwriter's debut album, The Great Divorce. Produced by Holy Holy's Oscar Dawson, it features some fantastic collaborations with the likes of Ali Barter, Tyler Milliot and more, and was recorded as close as his hometown to far as away as Nashville, Tennessee. The result is a diverse collection of indie-folk jams that flirt with the poppier side on occasion, that serves as a fantastic body of work.

To celebrate its release, Wright Smith sent us not only it, but a playlist of 11 artists who inspired the album's creation, and you can tuck into both below, and catch him on tour at one of his extensive run of dates (right down the bottom):


Chris Bell - Speed Of Sound

This is one of my favourite songs by Chris Bell who you might know from his band Big Star. He has one solo album but some of the tunes are out of this world. Somehow in this track he balances an acoustic guitar, a marimba and a laser-like-synth and it still makes sense.

The Flaming Lips - The Spark That Bled

I have to say that my most flamboyant moments on the record come from a deep seeded love of The Flaming Lips. I think I've seen them about five times. As I was growing up every album they released just seemed to fit in perfectly where I was at and I certainly admired the ever-changing sounds of the fearless freaks.

Pulp - Common People

People seem to argue over whether the great Brit-pop artist of the time was fought solely between Blur and Oasis. If those two bands were in a boxing ring Jervis Cocker and the rest of Pulp would be in the commentating and completely taking the piss.

The Smiths - Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

I love The Smiths on two fronts and I know half of my band would completely disagree with me. We have had many heated debates on the relevance of this band. Morrissey's lyrics sucked me in as a teenager and Jonny Marr's guitar playing has been such an influence on my own. I'm a big fan of everything they've done.

The Cure - The Exploding Boy [Fits/ F2 Studio demo 2/85]

I have to admit I was late to the party loving the whole catalogue of this band. I always loved the hits but when I dug deep I couldn't believe what I was missing out on. This band (despite dressing like some of the saddest goths on the planet) write some of the most unashamedly joyous and clever music I think that has ever been in Rock and Roll. This band really started seeping in with songs like Sand Grabber.

Morgan Delt - Make My Brain Green

This guy has only released two albums I think but when I heard his debut I was completely blown away by how deep he could get in this seemingly lo-fi DIY thing he had going. It's really imaginative stuff and defiantly made me want to push my songs into the weirder zones at times.

Television Personalities - Stop & Smell The Roses

I absolutely love some of the experimentation that burst out of Englands post-punk scene and these guys are no exception. These guys really hark back to this 60s thing but take it somewhere else completley. This was the first song that got me into them. There is this really deep hook in this song yet its delivered from this great strange voice and instrumentation. Stunning!

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Super-Sonic

This band were the 'cool' band when I was growing up and I still have a big love for them. Even though Anton Newcomb impersonators become some of the most annoyingly arrogant musicians around the scene at the time there is something truly brilliant about his vision and the evolution of this band. 

Centre Of Gravity - Yo La Tango

This band are just one of those perfect mistakes. To me they have never been able to put a foot wrong and just continue to be putting out some of the best music around. There just seems to be so much contradiction in their ability to explore endlessly diverse styles and ideas while keeping it so simple.

Robert Wyatt - P.L.A

Robert Wyatt caught my attention a while ago and while I hadn't known much about the myth of the man, his solo works immediately spoke to me. His strange lyrics and cool arrangements were just different to anything I'd heard. I think I heard this song in a film and needed to know who this guy was.

The Beach Boys - Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)

I'm a secret lover of The Beach Boys and I think the arrangements on the Pet Sounds album have changed my life forever. I went to the studio where it was recorded once and this lady Candice who owned it told me all about how they recorded it. It was a pretty small room and they'd do random takes, maybe a trombone, three singers and a tambourine. Then everyone would clear out and they get another mix of people to record over the tape. It just goes to show how much you can do in a confined space (if you're as genius as these guys)!


Thurs 20 April - Some Velvet Morning, Clifton Hill

Fri 21 April - Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Sat 22nd April - Workers Club, Geelong cap

Thurs 27 April - Transit Bar, Canberra

Fri 28 April - Charles Sturt Uni, Wagga Wagga

Fri 5 May - Charles Sturt Uni, Wagga Wagga

Sat 6 May - Hardys Bay Club, Hardys Bay

Fri 12 May - Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Wed 17 May - The Triffid - Courtyard, Brisbane

Thurs 18th May - Treetops, Gold Coast

Fri 19 May - Spotted Cow, Toowoomba

Sat 20 May  - Sol Bar/Front Bar, Maroochydore

Thurs 25 May - Frankies, Sydney

Sat 27 May - Rad, Bar Wollongong

Fri 2 June - The Loft, Warrnambool

Sat 3 June - The Exeter, Adelaide

Sun 11 June - Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Thurs 20 July - Sand Bar, Mildura

Fri 21 July - Sand Bar, Mildura

Sat 29 July - Northcote Social, Northcote

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