Chronicles of Narnia and Westworld Actor Ben Barnes adds Recording Artist to his repertoire with the Release of his first EP Songs For You
Inspired by Barnes' favorite artists growing up, the feel-good album is a soulful, jazzy pop throwback to the 70s
You probably recognize BEN BARNES from his role as Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia, or his roles in Marvel’s The Punisher, HBO’s Westworld, or Netflix’s Shadow and Bone. But this talented actor, who recently celebrated his 40th birthday, is putting his other talents to work, releasing his first EP, Songs For You. The self-taught pianist recorded the album from his home in front of his piano. Barnes describes this old soul-pop jazzy ensemble as a “melting pot” inspired by musicians his Dad introduced him to growing up like Queen, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Doobie Brothers, and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few.
“I’m fascinated in acting by the duality of people and that we all have the capacity to feel everything, and more than one emotion at a time," said Barnes. "I feel that way about my songs too. Even if they seem to be about one thing, I’m interested in conflicting emotion and transitional feelings, the in-between," he said.
Barnes has also released two videos, including one with his pal and Westworld co-star, Evan Rachel Wood, and directed by Lee Toland Krieger (The Age of Adaline). Some heavy-hitters produced the album too: John Alagía (Paul Simon, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Herbie Hancock) and Jesse Siebenberg (Kesha, Miranda Lambert, Neil Young, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald).
Barnes explained that the lyrics to most of his songs came from poetry, "written for a loved one or just for myself, a long-forgotten phrase I jotted down in a notebook years ago,” he said. That notebook is something Barnes told us he never travels without. Other lyrics, he says, are inspired by a “photograph, a moment, a quotation, or in the case of one song, a story I read about a female pirate."
Although he didn’t divulge who the songs are for, Barnes says what matters is how they make the person feel as they’re listening to it. How do they make “us” feel?
Hopeful, joyful, nostalgic, and generally great.
Check the album out now on all streaming platforms.