Traveling in a van along the interstates to perform with your mates before you even have a driver's license; Touring in Japan as a senior in high school; Signing to a major label at 19 years old. One usually hopes to follow-up such a momentous list with a gold record or two on the wall. However, labels fold, albums get shelved and dreams get sidelined. Insert any cliché music industry cautionary tale here, because it likely applies to the start of Benjamin James Howard's career.
Instead of letting cynicism from early defeats break his spirit, Benjamin James (as he's been previously known and accredited–without his last name–for his work with pop-punk outfit Bottom Line and his own subsequent electronic-alt-rock project Pluto Revolts) has only ever used it as fuel to his creative fire, focusing his motivations inward to appease himself above all.
So after two decades as a writer, "Heavy" is Benjamin James Howard's first release as a soloist. No pseudonym as camouflage. Last name in tow. The lyrical symbolism about overcoming one's own tendencies to over-analyze is not lost on him, considering the song (and many more that will soon follow it) is from a trove of material that sat for years in self-imposed limbo. Nonetheless, the song has taken on additional significance this year, while the recent political and social climate around the US continues to occupy far too many of our collective brainwaves, it would seem he's not the only one "waiting to be free."