The time has finally come “with trumpets, pipes and drums!” After many years of wishing and dreaming, Ben Barnes fans can finally get their hands on his first EP Songs For You, which was released today, October 15. Although it is just five songs long, this EP is a delightful journey that fans will be pleased to go on.
Barnes has given us a peek into his inner thoughts and feelings with these five songs that I will have on repeat for the foreseeable future. Recently in an interview with Deadline, Barnes was asked what took him so long to release his own music, “I kept thinking forward to an 80-year-old version of myself and hearing him regret never releasing my own music. It was a case of if not now…when?”
We have seen Barnes sing in several movies like Jackie and Ryan and do many amazing covers on his Instagram page. But nothing matches being able to release your own music. My personal favorite quote from the interview is Barnes saying, “And now nobody can ever take away the fact that I put my own music that I’m proud of out into the world.”
As a long time fan, I can proudly say that my expectations for this EP were blown out of the water. Through these songs, you take an emotional journey through the words that have clearly had so much thought put behind them. All in all Songs For You has a little something for any mood you may be in, from softer ballads to a more upbeat disco vibe. Without further ado let’s discuss these songs!
Many of us have looked at the clock when it hit 11:11 and thought to ourselves, “make a wish!” This song feels like a wish made from a heart that has been through pain, heartbreak and has healed, matured, and can see things in a new light. It takes a kind heart to wish the best for someone you have loved and lost. The lines from the song, “I wish for you to be happy. I wish for you to be free. I wish for you to be fearless,” hits you directly in the heart like Barnes wrote them personally to give you a boost. No matter what mood I find myself in, I can play this one and by the end, I am smiling to myself.
This was the first single that was released from Songs For You and the music video is beautiful and has a very old school Hollywood vibe. If you’d like to read a more detailed description of the video, you can find it here.
This song is a moving, emotional song about putting yourself back together and rising up to try again. Barnes states that this song went through many incarnations: “It started life as an attempt at an uplifting poem and became a little hymn and then this song.”
You can hear the hymn quality in the song along with the pure emotion that Barnes puts into the words. We have all been in a place where we have made the decision to rise up and try to carry on. The music video for this song is just as beautifully emotional, if not more than, listening to the song itself. I highly recommend viewing it and having tissues ready. If you’d like to read a more detailed description of the video, you can find it here.
This is the song that had me swaying back and forth with its sound and vibes. “Pirate Song” has much more of an old school disco type sound, especially with the use of the brass horns that sets it apart from the rest of the EP. The lyrics make a few pop culture references to help get the point across that a man has been waiting a while for his girl to finally make the choice to come back to him. I can say very confidently that this song will have me walking around singing to myself, “Heave ho, blow me down.”
“Not the End”
Barnes uses every cliché saying that we have all heard a million times before from someone close to us when we are down or going through a rough time. I think this was a genius idea, because how many times have we heard “no pain, no gain” and just wanted to smack the person who said it. These phrases are often used when a friend is trying to help but doesn’t have the words to express what they mean. Barnes thankfully has the ability to shape these words into what is my favorite song on the EP. There is one line that will be added to my favorite quotes wall soon, “They may tell you live, laugh, love. They’re just trying to be your friend. I won’t tell you live, laugh, love. If it’s not okay, it’s not yet the end.” This song just lifts my heart, plain and simple.
The closing track to Songs For You leaves listeners with a love song that isn’t like those that you will hear from other artists. Barnes shows his kind soul through these simple but deep and meaningful lyrics. The act of asking to be enough for that person you love and support is such a vulnerable place to be in. The ability Barnes has to put all those complicated emotions so clearly in this song had me emotionally compromised. I could go on about “Ordinary Day” but my advice is to go and listen to it yourself and be prepared. Whoever made the choice of putting this as the closing track to the EP deserves a reward.
The first time you listen to a complete album or EP all the way through is always a special experience. You get to be surprised by each new song and try to interpret the message that the artist wanted to convey for yourself. After completing my first listen, I was left with a higher appreciation for Ben Barnes, and honestly, I didn’t think that was possible because I already thought he was fantastic. He truly opened up, took the risk, put himself out there and it was a dazzling success in my book. I can’t wait to listen to these songs again and again and derive further meanings from them.
One thing that I love about music is that it becomes the soundtrack to our lives and I know without a doubt these touching songs will soon take their place in mine. Songs For You is full of hope and sensitivity and I highly, HIGHLY recommend checking it out for yourself! With the release of his EP, Barnes has also released some merchandise that can be found here. If you are a Ben Barnes fan in general, here is an article that covers some of his best movies and TV shows. Make sure to follow Nerds & Beyond to stay up to date on any news!