There’s something about simplicity and subtlety that sets the best songwriters apart. The simplicity in using the exact, perfect word—and only that word—to describe a feeling in a way that everyone can relate. And the subtlety of taking the listener on an emotional journey with a song that only lasts three minutes. Few artists have attained a mastery of both quite like my next guest, singer/songwriter Ben Vaughn. An exceptionally talented musician, Ben is a persistent writer; indeed, he writes almost every day. The tough part is getting it all down before it goes away. His music may remind you a bit of They Might Be Giants, a little Tom Waits mixed in with some Lou Reed. Ben’s been at it since the early 80s and even scored music for television shows and movies. He’s funny, witty, subtle, and unfailingly polite. We spoke from his California home about his newest album The World of Ben Vaughn, released in May 2022. Listen in as he discusses how he approaches his craft, his inspirations, and four songs from new album—Wayne Fontana Was Wrong, Blind Alley, Asking for a Friend, and New Jersey Rock and Roll. Dig in and welcome Ben Vaughn to For Songs.