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.
In New Mexico, daily life was ad hoc, communal, idyllic, almost Utopian. Ben and his five mates shared everything, all their money, shelter, and meals (Ben did the cooking). “It was beautiful,” he says. “We were at the foot of the Taos Mountain, part of the Sangre de Cristo range, one of the seven sacred mountain ranges in the world. I swam in the Rio Grande every day. The memory is surreal.”