Frontier

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FCC CLEAN
CANCON: 100%
Album: FRONTIER
UPC: 198015956556
Genre: Electro Pop Rock
Artist: Benjamin Russell
Record Label: TCBE Records
Release Date: April 26, 2023
MUSIC: Benjamin Russell*
LYRICS: Elyce and Benjamin Russell*
VOCALS: Benjamin Russell
PRODUCED AND MIXED: Benjamin Russell
VIDEOS: Elyce & Benjamin Russell
* except DO NOT FORSAKE ME (BALLAD OF HIGH NOON) written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington
INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE:
David Bowie
Gabriels
Ray LaMontagne
THE ALBUM
Benjamin Russell's first solo album since 2020 featuring new songs, a surprise cover version of one of the best songs of all time, a duet with one of today's best independent vocalists, Shimmer Johnson and a guest appearance on piano from "The Doctor" Rob Best.

Electro Pop Rock featuring Benjamin's unique vocal stylings and guitar with dollops of synthesizer and drum machines. The glue that holds it all together is catchy melodies and inspired lyrics running from the deeply personal to the topical.

Russell hopes people will drop the digital needle, listen to it as if it were a vinyl album, and when they come to the end, flip it over and listen again, maybe singing along this time.

Buy or stream
Subtitle

Songs
Subtitle
Special thanks to Sandy "Miss Parker" Hebenstreit for providing the "Sounds Like" info for each song. Check out her excellent music blog here: https://rave-and-roll.com

01 - FRONTIER 2023
SOUNDS LIKE: early Roxy Music, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Phil Manzanera
ISRC: CARI82300020
Written Benjamin Russell

Music Video: https://youtu.be/DncH8B2TNgU
LYRICS
FRONTIER 2023 - lyrics by Benjamin Russell

Can you tell me a picture or draw me a story
Illustrating the way to your heart?
Can you make me a diagram or some kind of map
Of the frontier that keeps us apart?
Mark it in red where the boundary lies
And I'll be very careful with my inner eye
I will follow the rivers that lead to your soul

At the top of a mountain, looking over a canyon
There's a deep and bottomless pool
You could climb up there with me, we'd dip in together
The water refreshing and cool
I dreamed it last night as you slept on my bed
And I got up and wrote down before they had fled
All the visions, I wanted to share them with you

I know the phantoms have given us fear
But let's trust the angels for they've led us here
For they have led us here

Smile and touch me, encourage my quest
And explain to your heart that I'm doing my best
To be more than a lover, more than a man, be your friend
Your best friend
ABOUT
Introducing the album theme, FRONTIER turns waltz time into a reggae tinged synth groove, worlds away from the original version released on Russell's 1996 COMIN' THRU album. Even the most intimate relationships have frontiers, which are often hard to navigate.
Fabulous. It's like Disney animated movie soundtrack stuff. Melodic rhythmic and bright. I doubt I'll hear anything else more engaging today.
Div Allan, Matrix Div

02 - NOT MY ONLY
SOUNDS LIKE: UB40, Specials, transitions reminiscent of 80’s Howard Devoto/Magazine
ISRC: CARI82300021
Written by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
LYRICS
NOT MY ONLY - lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell

You're not my only reason for living
But you give me strength to carry on
You're not my only inspiration
But you're the one that I can count on

Well now, I know it's tough
But I thought it would be better
If I wished hard enough
I freaked when the game got rough
And I threw in my best hand
When the dealer called my bluff

You're not my only...

I've heard every answer leads
To another question and we'll never be free
I choked and I lost my way
You were going to send me packing
But then you let me stay

You're not my only...

You keep me real
You make me feel there's a place
Where I can fit
You make me know it

Well now, here are we
Facing the unknown, yeah
Who knows what will be?
One thing that still puzzles me
Who keeps hiding pieces
In this jigsaw I can't see

You're not my only...
ABOUT
It's easy to get lost, even when you're in love but isn't it amazing when your partner helps you get back on track and inspires you to be your best? NOT MY ONLY has an infectious groove and melody.

03 - GHOST TOWN
SOUNDS LIKE: Specials, The Mighty Wah!
ISRC: CARI82300022
Written by Elyce and Benjamin Russell

Music Video: COMING SOON
LYRICS
GHOST TOWN - lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell

You might have been a ghost
But I found you stimulating
You might have been a fraud
I might have been deceived
But I wanted to believe
Every lie you told me

He she they them - there's a problem
Going round and round
Everybody's disappearing
In this new ghost town

You might have been a friend
Ticked off every box
And I'd been waiting
But you weren't who you seemed
I know I was deceived
But I wanted to believe
Now your contact's cleaned

He she they them - there's a problem
Going round and round
Everybody's disappearing
In this new ghost town
Ghost town, ghost town - when you shut down
Makes me insecure
If we can't get past the first step
How can we endure?

Nearly was amazing - we really came quite close
Of all the ghosts who've left me
I miss you the most
Your daddy left you, and your mama too
Your brother and your sisters
Want nothing more from you
And yeah, I know, I get it
It's what you're trained to do
But it's so frustrating
You refuse to see the truth

Ghost town, ghost town - what a letdown
Houses built on sand
Little breezes blow them down
All across ghost land

Ghost town, ghost town - when you shut down
Makes me insecure
If we can't get past the first step
How can we endure?
He she they them - there's a problem
Going round and round
Everybody's disappearing
In this new ghost town
ABOUT
GHOST TOWN. We've all been there.

04 - DO NOT FORSAKE ME (BALLAD OF HIGH NOON)
SOUNDS LIKE: Roxy Music, Waterboys, Freur
ISRC: CARI82300023
Written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington
ABOUT
Cover songs are rare for Russell. This unique spin on a timeless classic, made famous in the movie, High Noon, retains the spirit of the original while bringing the sound up to date.

05 - ONE LOVE (COWBOY REGGAE MIX)
SOUNDS LIKE: Duane Eddy and Peter Murphy had a baby :-)
ISRC: CARI82300024
Written by Benjamin Russell
LYRICS
ONE LOVE - lyrics by Benjamin Russell

Each heart has a heartbeat - it beats alone for a while
But each heart's got a soul beating, waiting, wanting to love - One love

This heart's got its own beat - it beats for you cause I love you
This heart's gonna keep beating, leaping, keeping time, love - One love

One love for this heart
And that one love, that one love, that one love...

There's a rhythm - a love beat - a heart beat
It's a hymn - this one beat - this heart beat
And it's ringing, it's singing, it's singing - it's ringing out for you

Chorus

This heart's got a soul mate - it beats for you mate (forever)
This heart's gonna keep beating, leaping, keeping time, love - One love

Chorus
ABOUT
One of the most popular songs on Russell's breakout album from the 80s, ONE LOVE has now been reimagined in this cowboy reggae version, proving a strong song lends itself to many styles.

06 - CHARLIE COMING DOWN
SOUNDS LIKE: David Bowie (Blackstar album), Crash Test Dummies
ISRC: CARI82100015
Written by Benjamin Russell
LYRICS
CHARLIE COMING DOWN - lyrics by Benjamin Russell

He felt like Charlie coming down
From on high toward the ground
Going back to being stupid
But unhappy now he knew it
Knowing just how far he'd seen
But already losing memory
Aware that he was more no more

Charlie coming down
from on high toward the ground
Addicted to the highs, was he unwise
To try to rise

Fear of falling kept him from the height
But at night he dreamed of precipice
Mountain top and cliff
He fell, and fell, and fell
Until he learned to fly

Charlie coming down

Fear of failing kept him on the ground
Until he learned to fly

Charlie coming down

Until he learns to fly

Charlie coming down
ABOUT
Inspired by the movie, Charlie, based on the book, Flowers for Algernon, CHARLIE COMING DOWN explores the dark side of mania. When you've been ecstatic how do you cope with losing that high view?

07 - LIVING IN A DREAM (ALBUM EDIT)
SOUNDS LIKE: Roderick Falconer, Human League
ISRC: CARI82300026
Written by Benjamin Russell

Music Video: https://youtu.be/kerlBjJTzuk
LYRICS
LIVING IN A DREAM - lyrics by Benjamin Russell

Time drifts by minute by minute
I'm waiting for life, I'd like to begin it
My blood's like molasses, another day passes
A slow motion scene, am I living in a dream?

I don't know, would it be different
If someone could show me what it all meant?
Would it change my life's course, with a cause to endorse?
You know what I mean? Am I living in a dream

Doesn't anyone need me? Oh, someone please lead me
I'm sure I would grow if someone would show me
Or at least get to know me. Am I living in a dream?

Doesn't anyone need me?
Oh, someone please lead me
I'm sure I would grow if someone would show me
Or at least get to know me.
Am I living in a dream?
A slow motion scene.
You know what I mean.
Am I living in a dream?

Living on a foreign planet
A bleak landscape of sandstone and granite
Could be heaven I'm in, but some original sin
Blocks me like a screen. Am I living in a dream?

Doesn't anyone need me? ...
ABOUT
In the mid 90s Russell rescued some rough acoustic demos by playing the tapes one last time as the oxide came off and gummed up the tape recorder heads. Living in isolation during this covid era, it was finally time to record LIVING IN A DREAM.

Think of it as a mature wine with hints of Marvin Gaye, Pink Floyd and Beach House.

08 - POKE THE DRAGON
SOUNDS LIKE: industrial Gary Numan, NIN, Sisters of Mercy, (melody/intro reminds me of Andreas Vollenweider), Stan Ridgway
ISRC: CARI82300027
Written by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
ABOUT
"POKE THE DRAGON is about my creative process," says Russell. "The best images and ideas are deep in the subconscious. Digging deep can wake some scary monsters."
LYRICS
POKE THE DRAGON - lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell

I've been down in the dark so long
In this tunnel all alone
I'm afraid to make a sound
Don't want to wake up the sleeping bones

But I feel something moving
In the depths far below
And now I gotta, I gotta, I gotta go

Yesterday I was free outside
Making plans to break in
I was brave enough to try
To rob this dragon - thought I could win

In this crazy maze of tunnels, chambers, deeps
Is the golden treasure that this dragon keeps
Sleeping with one eye half open on the hoard
You can just imagine what I creep toward

Oh, poke the dragon in his lair
Grab something precious if I dare
Before he's aware

Yeah I feel something stirring
In the depths far below
And now I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna

Go poke the dragon in his lair
Grab something precious if I dare
Before he's (aware)

Go poke the dragon in his lair
Grab something precious if I dare
Before he's aware

09 - JACKIE
SOUNDS LIKE: David Bowie (his ballad style, i.e., “Disco King”), Moby
ISRC: CARI82300028
Written by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
Special Guest: "The Doctor" Rob Best on piano

Music Video: COMING SOON
LYRICS
JACKIE - lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell

It's OK, it's alright, Jackie
Everything's fine
You didn't do anything wrong
This time - Jackie

You have come so far
It's just a flashback
Not a setback
And you still know who you are
Don't forget that - Jackie

Don't cry, you're safe here
You know that
Remember you're strong
You know you can be who you are
You belong - Jackie

You have grown inside
At your centre
You remember
You have learned to survive
You don't forget that

Jackie - give yourself a good talking to
Your inner child is counting on you
Talk to yourself, be a good friend
Your inner child needs to know this will end

It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie

And you've got this
Just focus
It's ghosts you don't need to defend

It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
ABOUT
Dedicated to psychotherapist Pete Walker, whose amazing book, "Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving" has helped so many people overcome trauma, JACKIE is a conversation with the inner child who needs to know they're safe now. Special thanks to "The Doctor" Rob Best whose piano performance perfectly enhances the minimalist trio / vocal arrangement.

10 - WHEN THE BUBBLE BREAKS - duet with Shimmer Johnson
SOUNDS LIKE: Kate Bush/Peter Gabriel, New Order, Blackmore’s Night
ISRC: CARI82300029
Written by Benjamin Russell
ABOUT
WHEN THE BUBBLE BREAKS is Benjamin Russell's first ever recorded duet. Shimmer Johnson lends her amazing voice.
LYRICS
WHEN THE BUBBLE BREAKS - lyrics by Benjamin Russell

I'm on the outside, looking in
You're on the inside dreami'
I'm on the outside, I can't get in

You're a sleeping beauty and I can't disturb the spell
Till you're ready, only time will tell

When the bubble breaks, you'll need me
When the bubble breaks, you'll see me
I will be waiting for you

You are pure, heaven sent
You think love is innocent (it is!)
But you won't feel joy or pain
As long as you're living outside the rain

And no price charming's going ring that bell
Till you're ready, only time will tell

When the bubble breaks, you'll need me
When the bubble breaks, you'll see me
I will be waiting for you

We're all sleeping, living in our dreams
And we can't shake the fantasy
So it seems

When the bubble breaks...

11 - DOWN IN THE HOLE (BONUS TRACK)
SOUNDS LIKE: Underworld, Shriekback
ISRC: CARI82300030
Written by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
LYRICS
DOWN IN THE HOLE - lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell

Push it, shove it
Shove it down in the hole

Family hurts
Shove it down in the hole
Trouble at work
Shove it down in the hole

Put it out of your mind
Until it jumps up and
Blind
Sides
You

Push it, shove it
Shove it down in the hole

Face it, feel it
Deal with it
Don't let it poison your soul
Bring it out into the sunlight
Where it can be seen for what it is

Dragon's eggs
Shove'em down in the hole
Darkness makes it grow
Down in the hole

Dragon's eggs

Push'em, shove'em
Down in the hole
ABOUT
How do those dragons get into your subconscious? You push 'em and shove'em DOWN IN THE HOLE. There are different ways of handling problems but when you can't face dealing with them, just know, they will come back when you least expect.

This bonus track is only available on Bandcamp with the purchase of the album.

lyrics
Lyrics
Subtitle
FRONTIER 2023
lyrics by Benjamin Russell
Can you tell me a picture or draw me a story
Illustrating the way to your heart?
Can you make me a diagram or some kind of map
Of the frontier that keeps us apart?
Mark it in red where the boundary lies
And I'll be very careful with my inner eye
I will follow the rivers that lead to your soul

At the top of a mountain, looking over a canyon
There's a deep and bottomless pool
You could climb up there with me, we'd dip in together
The water refreshing and cool
I dreamed it last night as you slept on my bed
And I got up and wrote down before they had fled
All the visions, I wanted to share them with you

I know the phantoms have given us fear
But let's trust the angels for they've led us here
For they have led us here

Smile and touch me, encourage my quest
And explain to your heart that I'm doing my best
To be more than a lover, more than a man, be your friend
Your best friend

NOT MY ONLY
lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
You're not my only reason for living
But you give me strength to carry on
You're not my only inspiration
But you're the one that I can count on

Well now, I know it's tough
But I thought it would be better
If I wished hard enough
I freaked when the game got rough
And I threw in my best hand
When the dealer called my bluff

You're not my only...

I've heard every answer leads
To another question and we'll never be free
I choked and I lost my way
You were going to send me packing
But then you let me stay

You're not my only...

You keep me real
You make me feel there's a place
Where I can fit
You make me know it

Well now, here are we
Facing the unknown, yeah
Who knows what will be?
One thing that still puzzles me
Who keeps hiding pieces
In this jigsaw I can't see

You're not my only...

GHOST TOWN
lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
You might have been a ghost
But I found you stimulating
You might have been a fraud
I might have been deceived
But I wanted to believe
Every lie you told me

He she they them - there's a problem
Going round and round
Everybody's disappearing
In this new ghost town

You might have been a friend
Ticked off every box
And I'd been waiting
But you weren't who you seemed
I know I was deceived
But I wanted to believe
Now your contact's cleaned

He she they them - there's a problem
Going round and round
Everybody's disappearing
In this new ghost town
Ghost town, ghost town - when you shut down
Makes me insecure
If we can't get past the first step
How can we endure?

Nearly was amazing - we really came quite close
Of all the ghosts who've left me
I miss you the most
Your daddy left you, and your mama too
Your brother and your sisters
Want nothing more from you
And yeah, I know, I get it
It's what you're trained to do
But it's so frustrating
You refuse to see the truth

Ghost town, ghost town - what a letdown
Houses built on sand
Little breezes blow them down
All across ghost land

Ghost town, ghost town - when you shut down
Makes me insecure
If we can't get past the first step
How can we endure?
He she they them - there's a problem
Going round and round
Everybody's disappearing
In this new ghost town

ONE LOVE
lyrics by Benjamin Russell

Each heart has a heartbeat - it beats alone for a while
But each heart's got a soul beating, waiting, wanting to love - One love

This heart's got its own beat - it beats for you cause I love you
This heart's gonna keep beating, leaping, keeping time, love - One love

One love for this heart
And that one love, that one love, that one love...

There's a rhythm - a love beat - a heart beat
It's a hymn - this one beat - this heart beat
And it's ringing, it's singing, it's singing - it's ringing out for you

Chorus

This heart's got a soul mate - it beats for you mate (forever)
This heart's gonna keep beating, leaping, keeping time, love - One love

Chorus

CHARLIE COMING DOWN
lyrics by Benjamin Russell
He felt like Charlie coming down
From on high toward the ground
Going back to being stupid
But unhappy now he knew it
Knowing just how far he'd seen
But already losing memory
Aware that he was more no more

Charlie coming down
from on high toward the ground
Addicted to the highs, was he unwise
To try to rise

Fear of falling kept him from the height
But at night he dreamed of precipice
Mountain top and cliff
He fell, and fell, and fell
Until he learned to fly

Charlie coming down

Fear of failing kept him on the ground
Until he learned to fly

Charlie coming down

Until he learns to fly

Charlie coming down

LIVING IN A DREAM
lyrics by Benjamin Russell
Time drifts by minute by minute
I'm waiting for life, I'd like to begin it
My blood's like molasses, another day passes
A slow motion scene, am I living in a dream?

I don't know, would it be different
If someone could show me what it all meant?
Would it change my life's course, with a cause to endorse?
You know what I mean? Am I living in a dream

Doesn't anyone need me? Oh, someone please lead me
I'm sure I would grow if someone would show me
Or at least get to know me. Am I living in a dream?

Doesn't anyone need me?
Oh, someone please lead me
I'm sure I would grow if someone would show me
Or at least get to know me.
Am I living in a dream?
A slow motion scene.
You know what I mean.
Am I living in a dream?

Living on a foreign planet
A bleak landscape of sandstone and granite
Could be heaven I'm in, but some original sin
Blocks me like a screen. Am I living in a dream?

Doesn't anyone need me? ...

POKE THE DRAGON
lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
I've been down in the dark so long
In this tunnel all alone
I'm afraid to make a sound
Don't want to wake up the sleeping bones

But I feel something moving
In the depths far below
And now I gotta, I gotta, I gotta go

Yesterday I was free outside
Making plans to break in
I was brave enough to try
To rob this dragon - thought I could win

In this crazy maze of tunnels, chambers, deeps
Is the golden treasure that this dragon keeps
Sleeping with one eye half open on the hoard
You can just imagine what I creep toward

Oh, poke the dragon in his lair
Grab something precious if I dare
Before he's aware

Yeah I feel something stirring
In the depths far below
And now I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna

Go poke the dragon in his lair
Grab something precious if I dare
Before he's (aware)

Go poke the dragon in his lair
Grab something precious if I dare
Before he's aware

JACKIE
lyrics by Elyce and Benjamin Russell
It's OK, it's alright, Jackie
Everything's fine
You didn't do anything wrong
This time - Jackie

You have come so far
It's just a flashback
Not a setback
And you still know who you are
Don't forget that - Jackie

Don't cry, you're safe here
You know that
Remember you're strong
You know you can be who you are
You belong - Jackie

You have grown inside
At your centre
You remember
You have learned to survive
You don't forget that

Jackie - give yourself a good talking to
Your inner child is counting on you
Talk to yourself, be a good friend
Your inner child needs to know this will end

It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie

And you've got this
Just focus
It's ghosts you don't need to defend

It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie
It's Ok, it's alright - Jackie

WHEN THE BUBBLE BREAKS
lyrics by Benjamin Russell
I'm on the outside, looking in
You're on the inside dreami'
I'm on the outside, I can't get in

You're a sleeping beauty and I can't disturb the spell
Till you're ready, only time will tell

When the bubble breaks, you'll need me
When the bubble breaks, you'll see me
I will be waiting for you

You are pure, heaven sent
You think love is innocent (it is!)
But you won't feel joy or pain
As long as you're living outside the rain

And no prince charming's going ring that bell
Till you're ready, only time will tell

When the bubble breaks, you'll need me
When the bubble breaks, you'll see me
I will be waiting for you

We're all sleeping, living in our dreams
And we can't shake the fantasy
So it seems

When the bubble breaks...

Watch the videos
Subtitle
FRONTIER
Benjamin Russell
View on Youtube