Ben Fletcher grew up in Coogee, Sydney. As a youngster, Fletcher hated school and found that music was an escape from his frustrations. Soon, his interest in music became a love affair. One day in 1991 Fletcher was given a cassette tape of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. He became obsessed with the record and begged his mother to buy him a guitar and practice amp. Before he knew it, he had learned the whole of Nevermind by ear. Things quickly escalated. In 1992, Fletcher dropped out of school and joined Bluebottle Kiss as a bass player. By the time the band played their first show in early 1993, he was just fifteen years old and had to be sneaked in to clubs to play.

Nevertheless, Fletcher loved the rehearsing, playing shows and recording demos. He had found his calling. Until 2004, when Fletcher left Bluebottle Kiss to concentrate on his own band, The Devoted Few, the group toured extensively across Australia and the US, recording five albums and three EPs in the process. Fletcher’s schedule with The Devoted Few was just as intense, touring numerous times around Australia and recording three albums and an EP.

In 2005, Fletcher met fellow Australian artist Sarah Blasko and started playing bass, guitar and keyboards in her band. After several years of touring Australia with Sarah, Fletcher moved to London in 2010 to continue touring Europe and the US with her. It was around this time that Fletcher began writing and producing his debut album, Upon Ayr. Written over two years, it is a compelling, storytelling record that opens with an ode to the sadness of Jack Kerouac's legacy, closes with the creak of the foot driven mechanical pump of an 1840s western Harmonium and paints scenes of Polynesian whale myths, a 1920s synchronised swimming mermaid's dream and the death throes of a love affair. The album title is a nod to one of the first recorded uses in the UK of the name Fletcher, in a little south-eastern town of Scotland, Ayr.

His time on the road touring with Sarah Blasko (who features on backing vocals) proved to be the perfect environment for Fletcher to write his collection of pictorial tales.

Throughout 2010 I was on a world tour with the beautiful, Australian singer Sarah Blasko. We played almost 200 shows that year and most of the songs on this record were written during that period. They developed in sound checks, in band rooms, in hotels, on trains, in vans, or humming into iPhones,” he says.

The recording process was surprisingly simple too, developing out of stolen studio time.

In early 2011, while still on tour with Sarah in Australia, I got together with two of my mates to sneak into a university studio where a friend of ours had been studying musicology. Our friend's course had finished months ago but he still had the keycard and security code that opened the doors to the studio. We snuck in around 11pm and would record all night till 4am or 5am, turning off the lights and hiding every 2 hours while the security guard cruised by. We did this for three nights and I recorded the guitar and vocals for around 14 songs.”

In fact, the recording of the multi-instrumentalist’s first album was taken across the globe to London and Stockholm, while the record was mastered in Berlin.

I recorded more songs in London, this time in my bathroom, two of which (Here Stands The Broken and Swim Through The Mouth Of The Whale) ended up on this album…When I finally got off tour in early 2012 I went into Decibel Studios in a snowy Stockholm to record some extra bits, including bass, drums and the amazing voice of one of my best friends: Sarah Blasko…I brought my album back to London to mix at Urchin Studios in May 2012, and there you have it. Simple and easy, like I've always wanted but never fully achieved in my past recordings,” Fletcher explains.

First single, Don't Breathe A Word, will be serviced to Australian radio on Tuesday 19 February. The track is a meditation on the death of a relationship.

Near the end when all love is lost and you start to become someone you aren't and say things you don't mean to survive the fall out… The end of a love affair is a cold dark place,” says Fletcher.

Upon Ayr will be released in Australia in March ahead of the UK release in April 2013. The musician admits that he has been pleasantly surprised at the ease with which the album has come together.

“Most of what you hear is first take, all the vocals were done either in a bathroom on a borrowed mic that would sometimes electrocute my lips, or in a little wooden room I had to hunch to fit into. I've always felt like I've been guilty of over thinking my recordings but this all happened without me even realising it.”