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Stereogum Premier: Ben Watt’s ‘Fever Dream’ (Feat. Hiss Golden Messenger)

[Stereogum]

By Michelle Laggan

Hazy, longing, and heartfelt, “Fever Dream” is the third single and title track from Everything But The Girl alumnus Ben Watt’s newest album. Here, the UK-based artist teams up with M.C. Taylor of North Carolina folk-rock greats Hiss Golden Messenger. Watt shared some comments on the artists’ choice to collaborate: A friend sent me a limited vinyl copy of the first Hiss Golden Messenger album, Bad Debt, some years back. I fell in love with his voice and delivery. Since then we’ve talked back and forth for a couple of years about doing something together. We finally got it together with this record and he added his parts a couple of weeks later. With “Fever Dream,” we tried a few call and response backing vocals that had a David Crosby flavour — I remember Mike emailed late one night saying, “I’m going to hope and assume you like If I Could Only Remember My Name” – but in the end we settled with stacked harmonies on the chorus and outro. Less was more. He adds great texture to the track. Taylor adds: I’m honored to have been able to contribute in some small way to his album. If the whole album is even half as good as “Fever Dream,” it’s going to be my album of the year. Taylor is far from the only creative partner on Fever Dream. Marissa Nadler also guests on a song, and Suede’s Bernard Butler and engineer Bruno Ellingham, who both worked on Watt’s previous album Hendra, returned to assist again. It seems that Watt has used Fever Dream to show that he is able to incorporate a diverse variety of ideas from a number of sources and still come out with a product that is as personal as it is coherent. Check out “Fever Dream” below.