Ben Ottewell is an English singer-songwriter. He is one of the three lead singers of the English indie rock band Gomez. He was the recipient of the Mercury Music Award Prize in 1998, and is well known for his "deep, raspy voice" and "gravelly baritone". Ottewell has recently embarked upon a solo-project, with the debut album Shapes & Shadows.
Ottewell came into contact with Ian Ball (vocals, guitar) while the two were studying law at Sheffield University. Ball was impressed by Ben's big voice, and along with Tom Gray (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Paul Blackburn (bass), and Olly Peacock (drums, synths, computers), they formed the band Gomez. Ottewell's deep, soulful voice has gained him some acclaim and has drawn some comparisons to Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and artist Tom Waits, and his lyrical style, and acoustical arrangements, especially in his solo work, have drawn comparisons to folk singer Nick Drake.
Shapes & Shadows
Ben Ottewell's first solo album, Shapes & Shadows, is not a huge departure from his material with Gomez, but it has its differences. It is more low-key, melancholy, and acoustic driven than Gomez. One music critic says "lyrically and thematically, Shapes and Shadows (the album) is a very thoughtful and mature recording, as if Ottewell is taking issues of love and relationships discussed in Gomez's back catalogue to another, more mature level".
Ottewell was born in Chesterfield and raised in nearby Bonsall, Derbyshire, attending Highfields School in Matlock. He currently resides in Brighton, East Sussex, in England. He is married, and is a father of twin boys and one girl.