Years before he hit the road as one half of the Americana duo HONEYHONEY, Ben Jaffe
kickstarted his career as a solo artist. He was a young Massachusetts native living in Los
Angeles, rolling his sharp songwriting, multi-instrumental chops and vocals into songs that were
honest and experimental. A decade later Jaffe returns to that career with Oh, Wild Ocean of
Love, his first full-length release as a solo artist.
Trading the rootsy stomp of HONEYHONEY's three albums for an indie-alternative sound, Jaffe
widens his approach with Oh, Wild Ocean of Love. These songs make room for a broad range
of influences, from the polyphonic rhythms and improvisational freedom of jazz music to the soul
and swagger of Motown. There are R&B ballads like "Everlasting Peace," where Jaffe layers his
voice into gorgeous stacks of multi-part harmony, and dissonant rockers like "Dominator," where
he shines a light on his skills as an inventive electric guitarist. Throughout the tracklist, Jaffe
plays nearly every instrument himself, bouncing between drums, keyboard, bass, and guitar.
The result is an album that doubles not only as a rejuvenation of the career he put on hold years
ago, but also a showcase of the chops he's sharpened during his time with HONEYHONEY.
For the record, HONEYHONEY's time is far from over. Jaffe and bandmate Suzanne Santo both
appear as recurring characters in the new TBS series The Guest Book, doubling not only as
members of the show's cast, but as musical guests as well. They perform in each episode, with
Jaffe producing much of the material. While the band temporarily scales back its touring
operations, though, Jaffe restarts his solo engines, exploring a sound he only hinted at during
his busiest years with the band.
Inspired by a wide of sounds and texts — including Paul Simon, Beck, Randy Newman, Father
John Misty and The Essential Chuang Tzu — Oh, Wild Ocean of Love explores the wreckage
left by a relationship that's poorly-defined and headed south. It's an album about the full
spectrum of love: love for yourself, for others, and even your maker. An album about lessons
learned. An album about the realization that even in these chaotic times, it's okay to relax.
Meanwhile, Jaffe continues to broaden his career beyond the confines of the recording studio
and the stage. He composed, recorded, and produced the lm score for Joy Joy Nails, a short
lm that screened at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, building on a resume in TV and Film that
includes work on the cartoon, Spongebob Squarepants and various other shows and lms. He
also continues to nd charitable avenues for his music, years after HoneyHoney performed
alongside the high-school symphony of Jaffe's alma mater in order to raise money for the
school's arts program. Oh, Wild Ocean of Love is the latest chapter in a story that's still being
told, and Jaffe has rarely been so compelling.