Ben Folds is releasing a new single today. “2020” is his take on what he describes as a “rollercoaster year.”
“We seem to be currently reliving and cramming a number of historically tumultuous years into one,” said Folds. “For a moment it was all about the 1918 pandemic. Then we began seeing hints of the Great Depression before flipping the calendar forward to the Civil Rights protests of the 1960’s. Running beneath this is the feeling that we’re in the Cold War, while seeing elements that brought us to the Civil War rearing their head, making us wonder if we’ve learned a damn thing at all.”
Folds was on an orchestral tour across Australia when the pandemic hit earlier this year, forcing the cancellation of further touring in 2020. Folds is expected to resume his Australian tour in January 2021, with rescheduled US concerts dates expected in the spring and summer of 2021. While off the road, Folds has begun writing new songs for his next album, working on his second book to follow his 2019 New York Times Best Selling memoir A Dream About Lightning Bugs, has continued his work with the National Symphony Orchestra, and has numerous other creative projects in the works.
On his new single, Folds added, “There’s the sense that time is accelerating by the day. It’s personally disorienting, and also artistically disorienting. It actually stifles expression in that what you express in the morning may be out of date or even inappropriate by noon. It used to be ‘oh, that’s so 2008!’ Now it’s ‘oh, that’s so 1:30 PM!’ How can you write a song in which the whole landscape has shifted by the time you’ve written the 3rd verse? All I could think to do was to write a song about this very phenomenon. The cramming of multiple (and not so fun) years into one. And about the worry of how many more there may be to come.:
“Here’s to hoping for some stability in 2021, and to eventually looking back and understanding that this year, uncomfortable as it has been, took to get us to a better place. Until then, hold on to our hats.”