Benedict Benjamin describes his musical style as “Reverby, dreamy, psychy, folky, rocky, country-y, harmony-y, 60s-y stuff” – well that gives him a lot of scope to diversify his sound then, hey!
With such a broad sweep across the musical spectrum as this, it is incumbent upon me to poke my nose into the new single ‘Thin Skin’ to establish within which one of these many genres his latest composition falls. But first, you might like to know a bit more about the dude himself!
The artist formerly known as Ben Rubenstein comes from good musical indie-folk stock, having previously been a member of bands, The Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue. As these two bands fell asunder, Benjamin, double jobbing and experiencing a bit of personal strife, decided to utilise his extended waking hours, a result of an extended bout of insomnia, by writing songs. One month later, he had written the bones of his forthcoming album, ‘Night Songs’ from which, ‘Thin Skin’ has been lifted as the lead track.
‘Thin Skin’ is a funky, catchy track with the indie sensibilities of demi-wonk guitar riffs crossing paths with folky acoustic guitar. The guitar elements are joined up by slick bass playing and enthusiastic drums with plenty of indulgent high hat tambourine jangle.
Benedict Benjamin has quite a unique and disarming voice and his vocal on ‘Thin Skin’ is powerful enough to underscore the lyric but is also refreshingly pure and emotionally honest without the cringe. It might seem an odd thing to say, but it is a really nice thing to listen to a sincere, clearly sung, well held, no fuss vocal.
Honesty seems to be the best policy lyrically; when discussing the background to the song, this is what the singer had to say:
“It’s specifically about me being a sensitive person that really appreciates and values honesty but who isn’t always able to muster a civilised response to the hearing of it. The song’s sort of an apology to those who’ve pointed out truths to me who I’ve made feel unwelcome.”
So after all that, which genre does ‘Thin Skin’ fall into … Funky-Indie-Folk is my verdict!!
‘Thin Skin’ is a heartfelt well written composition with an unfussy sound, that has been brought to life via an extremely well played instrumental and a clear distinctive vocal. Subtle arrangement, and production with nous, have finished it off beautifully. March 2016, and debut album, ‘Night Songs’, can’t come quick enough for this reviewer.
‘Thin Skin’ is taken from the upcoming album, ‘Night Songs’, due out March 25th 2016 on Sugarcoat Records.
Benedict is in the middle of a short promotional tour, playing several venues in the London area. Details of remaining dates here, plus a link to his Facebook page, where you can follow him for more info on upcoming live dates and musical updates.
Tue 17th LONDON The Borderline, Soho
Sun 22nd LONDON The Finsbury, Finsbury Park
Tue 24th LONDON The Pickle Factory, Tower Hamlets
Sat 5th LONDON The Slaughtered Lamb