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Ben LaMar Gay

Open Arms To Open Us

International Anthem Recording

limited indies only cherry red lp

Released: 19th Nov 2021



Released: 19th Nov 2021



Released: 19th Nov 2021


out of stock

Squelchy explorative work that pits iconoclastic pop patterns against shaking, juddering, and lurching jazz rhythms – it’s a challenging work that rewards in skip-fulls if you dare open your arms to it.

Ben LaMar Gay's critically-lauded 2018 break out Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun was more like a greatest hits than a debut album, as it compiled the best of the prolific but obscurity-prone Chicago native artist’s previously unreleased music. Open Arms to Open Us will be our first release of brand new, freshly baked tunes by Gay, a collection recorded entirely at International Anthem studios in Chicago between March-June 2021. He is an artist that has been called “visionary” by the New York Times. Jeff Parker has called him “one of my favorite musicians on the planet today.” NPR says “there is no one universe for Ben LaMar Gay, he just sonic booms from one sound to another.” Gay lives up to all these statements and more, putting all his best feet forward on this new album. Fluently interweaving jazz, blues, ballads, R&B, raga, new music, nursery rhyme, Tropicalia, two-step, hip-hop and beyond in his most colorful and communicable work yet, it's a beaming expression of Gay’s signature omni-genre, “Pan-Americana” brew. Featured artists on the album include: OHMME singers Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, bassist/vocalist/arranger Ayanna Woods, multi-disciplinary Rwandan artist Dorothée Munyaneza, poet A.Martinez, cellist Tomeka Reid, and vocalists Onye Ozuzu, Gira Dahnee, and Angel Bat Dawid.

Open Arms To Open Us


  1. Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks On You.(featuring Ohmme)
  2. Hood Rich Happy
  3. Bang Melodically Bang
  4. Aunt Lola and the Quail
  5. Mestre Candeia’s Denim Hat
  6. Oh Great Be The Lake
  7. I Be Loving Me Some Of You
  8. Nyuzura(featuringDorothée Munyaneza)
  9. Slightly Before The Dawn
  10. Lean Back.Try Igbo(featuring Onye Ozuzu)
  11. Dress Me In New Love
  12. Touch. Don’t Scroll(featuring Ayanna Woods)
  13. I Once Carried A Blossom(featuring A.Martinez)
  14. In Tongues And In Droves(featuringTomeka Reid)
  15. S’Phisticated Lady(featuringGira Dahnee and Angel Bat Dawid)
  16. We Gon Win