Minute Taker's new 80s-inspired synth-pop album, featuring the singles 'The Darkest Summer', 'Lead You Home' and 'After The Rain' (featuring Bright Light Bright Light) as heard on BBC Radio 2.
Ben here (aka Minute Taker) and welcome to my ‘Wolf Hours’ page. The album has been a long time in the making and I’m beyond excited to finally share it with you! 🤗
You can find all the items currently for sale below and further down the page there's more info about the album and what inspired it.
Wolf Hours is a collection of eleven 80s-infused synth-pop songs I’ve written and produced over the past 8 years or so in my home studio.
Drawing retro influences from artists such as Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, a-ha and even Bonnie Tyler, I really wanted the album to exude the warmth and magic of simpler, more analogue times.
I had this idea as I was making the album that it was a bit like going through a box of old stuff you find in the loft; full of the comfort and mystique of childhood nostalgia, but a bit warped and degraded over time!
Recording at home
Growing up in the 80s, I had a recurring nightmare of being chased through woods by the wolf-like creature “Gmork” from the 1984 fantasy movie The NeverEnding Story (I really was terrified by that bloody thing! 🤣).
Gmork from The NeverEnding Story in his lair!
This inspired the album’s title and, along with other films of the era such as Batteries Not Included and Labyrinth, influenced the album’s retro film-poster style artwork, which was expertly executed by The Sonnyfive from pics of me and my dog Saoirse by photographer Malc Stone.
When I was writing the songs I was thinking about all the things that pop into my head when I’m lying in bed late at night. All of those repressed thoughts and memories that find their way into my restless dreams...
Like suppressed urges from the depths of my subconscious in Hearts (We’ll Never Know), or childhood memories of video shops and playing the Commodore 64 in Nostalgia, or even an imagined supernatural, Gothic love story set in the 1800s but playing out as an 80s TV movie in Mirror!
Playing the Commodore 64 at my friend Stuart's house back in the 80s
The Darkest Summer, released as a single last year, is about going back in time via memories to a perfect day at the beach in 1989, but memories can be elusive...
The video for my latest single Lead You Home explores the dreams of a former World War 1 soldier as he lies on his deathbed over 60 years later. He goes back to relive a relationship he once had with a fellow soldier that ended in tragedy...
In November 2021 I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money to release the album. I was absolutely thrilled to not only reach my goal of £12,000 but to exceed it, reaching nearly £20,000! The support has been overwhelming and I'm so grateful to all of my fans for believing in the album.
A range of special items were available during the campaign. Some of these are still available while stocks last, including an 80s style magazine called 'TOTAL HITS' all about the album. It features an in-depth interview, a song by song guide, photos and lots of fun features. There's even a pull out poster and free badge for full 80s effect! 😁
Other items include a limited edition purple vinyl, an instrumental version of the album and a surprise colour cassette edition.
Have a look to see what you fancy. And thank you so much for your support! As a completely independent artist I really couldn't be making a living from my music without you.