Ben Barnes just turned 40 today and to celebrate, he’s dropping an album. The British actor is most recently known for playing General Kiriganon in Netflix’s Shadow & Bone series, but he’s probably best known for playing Prince Caspian in The Chronicles Of Narnia, as well as his roles in Westworld, Marvel’s The Punisher, and that time he played the title character in the movie adaptation of Dorian Gray. Though Barnes only made the announcement today, he’s not going to make us wait too long for the album; Songs For You is slated for release on October 15.
In the late aughts and the early 2010s, Barnes was pretty much a mainstay on all of those “best hearthrobs” lists (relatedly, he was also a mainstay across the Tumblr dashboards of the chronically Online during this time too) so the question is less “why is Ben Barnes releasing an album?” and more “Why is Ben Barnes releasing an album now?” However, Barnes spent most of last year uploading clips of himself singing at his piano (including this extremely passionate and slowed down remix of the Friends theme song), so maybe we should’ve gotten better at picking up all those melodic hints he was putting down.
“11:11,” the lead single for the album isn’t out yet but it will defy the rigid parameters of genre categories, which will be the common denominator for all of Barnes’ forthcoming music it seems. “I’m fascinated in acting by the duality of people, and that we all have the capacity to feel everything and more than one emotion at a time,” he explains in a statement. “I feel that way too about my songs. Even if they seem to be about one thing, I’m interested in conflicting emotion and transitional feelings… the in-between.”
Though Barnes is ready to step out into the music world, he’s not leaving the acting behind—after all, he’s still got season two of Shadow And Bone. The series, based on Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling Grishaverse book series, was an instant hit for Netflix and the streamer announced its renewal back in June.