Who is this suited man crooning in the street? I asked myself the same question earlier today and couldn’t wait to find out who it was after I played the first few seconds of this video! Seemingly oblivious to the wandering souls around him all conducting themselves in their everyday business, this character crops up amidst the hustle of a busy market (check out the man who approaches from behind), on a train, in a shopping centre, on a garage forecourt and several other random locations! This light-hearted and whimsical visual delight, however, comes from an expressive artist who is serious about his music.
Benedict Benjamin is the new solo project from Ben Rubinstein, formerly of indie-folk acts The Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue. Having received critical acclaim for recent debut single ‘Thin Skin’ in November last year, his debut album ‘Night Songs’ is due for release in March. It’s hard not to find your cockles instantly warmed by this wonderfully quirky character for his music is heartfelt, honest and built upon reflective lyrics and delicate indie-folk melodies that are both easy to listen and not at all hard to take to; I am certainly taken.
The forthcoming album was recorded in a series of churches, bedrooms and kitchens across London and Kent with UK-based musician and producer Dan Blackett (Landshapes, Bella Union).
It comes from a time when Benedict was battling insomnia, working nights and living nocturnally and the effects of this were to have a major influence as Benedict explains: “At the end of my twenties I was in two bands that were breaking up, working night shifts at two jobs and going through a bad time with the girl I love. I was exhausted but my body had given up on sleep and every night I’d lie awake for what seemed like forever watching the light brighten into morning. I hadn’t written a song for a while but then in the middle of one of those nights something resolved itself and I started writing and kept on writing for a whole month.”
Sometimes we are at our best when things are at their worst, the desire to express our innermost thoughts seems to heighten in times of tribulation and this sincerity is evident in the music of Benedict Benjamin. Contrasted by a dreamy blend of 60’s sounding pop, folk-rock and psychedelic tinges, the mix drives towards a positive resolution and takes you along for the ride. Benjamin also described how: “The album took a year and a lot of struggle to complete but I’m really proud of it. It was written at and about a point in my life when I realised I wasn’t that young anymore and had to really start fighting if I wanted to be happy.”
Taken from his new album comes the single (and official video – watch above) ‘My Feet Have No Need For The Ground.’ It’s a fantastic follow-up to ‘Thin Skin’ and a fantastic example of what to look forward to on debut album ‘Night Songs.’
‘Night Songs’ is released on 25 March 2016 via Sugarcoat Records and can be pre-ordered from here
Gig dates below!
2nd – Servant Jazz Quarters with Nadine Khouri – London
19th – Stereo 92 (first full band show) – London
24th – Sofar Sounds – Brighton
25th – The Islington with Frokedal – London
6th – Sofar Sounds – Oxford
9th – Servant Jazz Quarters with Woodpigeon – London
9th – Dim Swn Festival – Cardiff
14th – The Forge with The Magnetic North – London
23rd – The Winemakers – London