Ben Lee Trips Out on 'Welcome to the House of Mystical Death' - Song Premiere

Singer-songwriter explores inner realms in new album cut

Ben Lee
Ione Skye-Lee
February 13, 2013 8:00 AM ET

Click to listen to Ben Lee's 'Welcome to the House of Mystical Death'

Singer-songwriter Ben Lee is set to follow up 2011's Deeper Into Dream with a new album, Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work, out May 7th on Ten Fingers Records. Now you can take an exclusive first listen to the album cut "Welcome to the House of Mystical Death," a cut that starts off cacophonous and contemplative but builds to something boisterous and celebratory with the entrance of a gorgeous choir and repeated chant of "Let the light in!"

According to Lee, the track is designed to mimic the start of a journey after consuming the psychoactive concoction ayahuasca. "The beginning of the inner journey can be terrifying, and we are asked to stand courageously on the brink of the unknown," Lee tells Rolling Stone. "The track is built on the sound of multiple breath tracks. When we are beginning to lose touch with our sense of ego and identity, often the breath is the only stable element in our experience. As I built the track with my collaborator, Jessica [Chapnik Kahn], we discussed the need for a mantra or prayer to be repeated as we enter the experience. She offered, 'I'm willing to go in.' What more can be said in the face of such uncertainty? As the track crescendos, we surrender to the medicine and the choir of voices helping us to uncoil and 'let the light in.' In some ways, the medicine's request is simple, to relax and let it work upon us, but our grip on what we consider to be reality is so intense that we often struggle to let go. Once we do, however, we begin a journey more intimate and profound than we could have ever imagined."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »