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In the spring of 2020, Ben Cook — a.k.a. Young Governor, Young Guv, or just Guv — was holed up in the New Mexico high desert, his U.S. tour having been abruptly covid-cancelled during a southwest swing. He and his bandmates were living moment to moment in something called an Earthship, a solar-rigged adobe structure sustainably constructed with, among other things, recycled bottles and tires. And out there in the serene vastness, as a short ride-it-out stint turned into a nine-month sojourn, Ben was writing music, slowly, little by little, mostly at night while the others slept. By the New Year, almost in spite of himself, he had created a new album, two new albums actually, and through the ordeal he was forever changed.
In a place he never expected to be, under circumstances no one could have predicted, and in the face of physical isolation, emotional desolation, and existential dread, Ben created GUV III & IV, a collection of songs dedicated and testifying to the eternal healing power of love — how to find it in the world, in others, and most importantly, in himself. Written in the New Mexico wilderness and produced in Los Angeles, the double album will be released on Run For Cover later next year.

Ben calls the new album “a document of my two years away from the world. My healing.”
“Through real work in therapy over a long period, as well as spending many months isolated and alone, I have started to finally access my true self little by little, and it’s reflected in this music.”
Maybe that process would have happened anyway, without the world cataclysm, without the detour to the sacred mountains. But it happened in its peculiar way, and in a holy place, and so we have this poignant and beautiful two-album set, which couldn’t have been made in any other timeline or under any other conditions.
It’s an open question where exactly the timeline that begins with GUV III & IV leads. After tracking the albums in L.A. in early 2021, Ben decamped to Mexico — old Mexico — where the healing process has taken yet another surprising turn.
“I’m taking a complete break from music,” Ben says. “I haven’t picked up a guitar since the record wrapped. I’m learning Spanish and boxing.”