Ben Ottewell is best known as a member of Gomez, a British rock act whose debut album, Bring It On, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. Gomez never had a designated frontman — Ottewell, Ian Ball, and Tom Gray all sang, and the band’s albums usually included several vocal performances from each — but Ottewell took the helm more than his bandmates, making him one of the group’s most prominent members. After releasing the band’s sixth album in 2009, he began paving the way for a solo career, making his debut with the release of 2011’s Shapes & Shadows. His sophomore long-player, Rattlebag, followed in 2014. In early 2017, Ottewell released the single “Watcher” in anticipation of the release of his third full-length outing, Man Apart, which dropped later that May British vocalist/guitarist Ian Ball is one of the three singer/songwriters in Gomez, a pop/rock quintet with bluesy sensibilities. Joining the band in 1996, Ball and his four bandmates — Ben Ottewell, Tom Gray, Paul Blackburn, and Olly Peacock — first rose to prominence on the strength of the debut album Bring It On. Several releases followed, and Ball relocated to Los Angeles after 2002’s In Our Gun. Gomez continued to tour and record, however, issuing Split the Difference in May 2004, Out West in June 2005, How We Operate in May 2006, and the retrospective collection Five Men in a Hut: Singles 1998-2004 later that year. Despite the band’s steady pace, Ball found time to pursue solo work in his adopted hometown of L.A., often playing gigs at the Hotel Café. He also dabbled in electronica with Lionel 6, an experimental trio that included members of Australia’s Gelbison (whose first two albums, 1704 and See the World, were produced by Ball). Gomez toured across the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand in 2007; while not on-stage, Ball spent much time on his laptop, editing a series of tracks that had originated as an impromptu jam session in Los Angeles (and were later completed during sessions at the city’s da Schtud studio). Returning home with the finished product, Ball released Who Goes There — his first solo effort — via the singer’s own Dispensary Records.