New Year’s Evolutions: Ben de la Cour and Body Stuff’s Curran Reynolds

We checked in with Ben de la Cour and Curran Reynolds (Body Stuff) on how they spent 2020, what they learned, and their thoughts and hopes for what 2021 will hold, as part of our New Year Evolutions Series!


Ben de la Cour

Credit: Neilson Hubbard

Nashville, TN’s Ben de la Cour‘s dark Americana storytelling record, Shadow Land, was released in mid 2020 and de la Cour was enjoying tour life in Australia when news of the pandemic hit. Barely making it back to the States, he pivoted his creative energy into essay writing, finishing school, honing his acting skills, and a new career path to give back.  

How did you spend this past year?  
I spent the first part of the year in Australia on tour. It was amazing, although I was in pretty bad shape. I flew back to the States right under the wire and went right into quarantine. That was tough, not being able to see my daughter after being away for a month. 

I started writing a lot more outside of music. I wrote an essay about my personal practice of radical laziness during COVID which was my first, and so far, only published essay. It was fun. I lost momentum though. Slipped back into the slough of despond. Although I’ve started writing songs again recently, trying to put together plans and schemes for the next record. 
 
What new things did you learn? 
I’ve actually been doing a bunch of acting. Mostly just shorts and student films, but it’s a lot of fun. I’d been in a handful of music videos for other artists like Justin Townes Earle, Kevin Gordon, and Louise Goffin in the past and I found out I really enjoyed it, so my friend Jimmy Sullivan and I decided to sign up for acting classes together just before the pandemic. He’s a great bassist and plays with a bunch of artists but I’ve always felt like he was a natural actor – and I was right! He’s far better than me, but it’s fun to just pursue something you have very little aptitude and zero expectations for. Being an artist has also given me very little fear of failure, which holds you in good stead as an actor. It’s been a good release and a way to kill time.  

I also got my GED and am applying to go to school for social work. I had a couple of trips to the booby hatch this year and after being released into an IOP program I kind of had this, for want of a better word, “spiritual awakening” where I realized I needed to at least try and help people who’d been in my position or I’d go crazy again. 
 
How do you feel about the coming year in terms of ‘getting back to normal’? Is there going to be a normal? 
Normal is such a relative term. What constitutes normal for a millennial like me would be borderline unthinkable for someone even a generation older. But we as humans seem to be bizarrely resilient, although that seems to be a double- edged sword in many ways. “Oh, Giuliani’s face is melting again and white supremacists have stormed the Capitol building. Where do you want to eat tonight?” 

Any sort of predictions for how this year is going to be (which will be interesting to revisit at the end of 2021).
I think our alien overlords will finally arrive. Hopefully, they’ll let me use their time machine so I can go back and stop Charles Manson from marrying my mother.


Curran Reynolds – Body Stuff

Credit: Justina Villanueva

Besides handling PR for his consistently excellent roster of diverse bands, Curran Reynolds stayed busy with his own project, Body Stuff, collaborated with others, reflected on the importance of personal relationships, and even managed to run 500 miles. He shared with us some sage wisdom and observations of this year. 
 
How did you spend this past year? 
I wrote and recorded the majority of the next Body Stuff album. Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu remixed my song “New York in the Rain” and I recorded guest vocals on Trace Amount’s song “Concrete Catacomb.” I kept in touch with family and friends and in certain cases those relationships are deeper now than they were before. I ran a total of 500 miles, including my first half marathon. As for work, I am self-employed and my work continued pretty uninterrupted through the year. 

What new avenues did you find to express yourself and get your work 
out into the world? 
I released my latest EP, Body Stuff 3, in January 2020, so when NYC shut down in March I was at a point where I could accept the idea of hiding out and working on new music to be released at some later date. This year also highlighted to me the importance of the connections we have with the people we love and respect and, on that note, it was really great to collab with Xiu Xiu and Trace Amount on those two songs. 
 
How did you make ends meet to simply survive? 
I work as a publicist. My clients are bands and labels. Although live music has shut down, bands have continued making new music and there has been some demand for my services. 
 
What new things did you learn?
I observed a lot of hysteria and spite this year. A lot of people in a state of panic. A lot of people screaming at each other. I learned from these examples— or reaffirmed what I already knew— about how I want to carry myself. 
 
How do you feel about the coming year in terms of ‘getting back to normal’? Is there going to be a normal? 
Life is change. I am not attached to any outcomes. One day at a time. I will try to do my best every day.  
Control the things you can control and let the other stuff go.  
Break down your problems into smaller parts you can manage.  
Think in terms of the collective, not just the self.  
Make change in the world by being the person you want to be and bringing that good energy to other people. 


Follow Ben de la Cour on Twitter here, and Body Stuff on Facebook here.

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