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Ben Kweller Talks About “Dark” Record


Indie-rocker Ben Kweller spent his youth listening to classic rock and country, and developing his musical skills with help from his dad’s close friend (and longtime Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young sideman) Nils Lofgren.

Those influences show on Changing Horses, Kweller’s fourth album and follow-up to 2006’s SPIN-approved self-titled set, which is set to drop Feb. 3. Kweller tells that the record is a departure from his usual optimism. “It has some heavy stuff,” he says. “Ballad of Wendy Baker,” for instance, is about a high school friend who died in a car crash.

In the audio streams below, listen as Kweller talks about recording Changing Horses in the same Austin, TX, studio used by the band Spoon — and tells the story behind two of its songs, “Gypsy Rose” and “Homeward Bound.”


  • About “Gypsy Rose”(1:07)
  • About “Homeward Bound”(0:43)
  • Writing and recording “Homeward Bound”(1:48)

Changing Horses‘ tentative tracklist:
1. “Gypsy Rose”
2. “Old Hat”
3. “Fight”
4. “Hurtin’ You”
5. “Ballad of Wendy Baker”
6. “Sawdust Man”
7. “Wantin’ Her Again”
8. “Things I Like to Do”
9. “On Her Down”
10. “Homeward Bound”