Something difficult to come to terms with for the average music fan is the concept of members from their favourite band deciding to pursue different musical avenues. What most don’t consider is the gruelling oppression of a creative mind with only one outlet be that a genre, instrument or fan base that one is tied to. A certifiable plethora of legendary musicians however, have taught this valuable lesson in the form of a fulfilling and successful solo career.
Gideon Bensen is one such artist who has enjoyed a mountain of success in the past few years with rock legends The Preatures (fronted by the physical incarnation of the word lfjnvlifoijewof, Isabella Manfredi). To clarify, Bensen remains an active member of the band, saying himself that he believes the two could coexist thanks to their vastly different sounds. Benson has recently however hit the web with his own take on some of the freshest sounding music imaginable.
Relinquishing the bounds of The Preatures comes Gideon Bensen, striking out on his own with an astounding sound.
Upon listening to his recent single, All New Low, a vast canyon forms between his Preatures ventures – the song appears with only the occasional bridge appearing between the two discernible sides. All New Low comes as both a foreshadowing and a part of an upcoming EP, due out next February. If it’s anything to go by, Bensen’s debut single promises a lustrous and expansive record.
The track opens with an electronically programmed drum track, falsely luring the listener into the delusion of familiarity, however, it soon proves it’s uniqueness. The introduction of Bensen’s low, sultry growl and soulful arrangements of the world’s finest brass instrument, the baritone saxophone (seriously, who doesn’t like baritone saxophones?), are a lesson in musical originality, drawing from that which has been before and combining it with a veritable soup of individuality and soul. Whilst it seems difficult to place a finger on Bensen’s influence, flavours of 80s David Byrne can be tasted alongside the sounds of many of Gideon’s eclectic influences including Echo and the Bunnymen and even a little of Kendrick Lamar’s genre-jumping grooves.
It appears bensen has worked with some Australian music bigwigs in the creation of his new sound, teaming up with super producer Tony Buchen of triple J favourites Mansionair and Montaigne roots (plus The Preatures of course), as well as a guest appearance from Megan Washington on backing vocals (THE Megan Washington?!).
One of the strengths of the Aussie industry is its tendency to combine the minds of such an eclectic and talented bunch. The mixture certainly paid off in Bensen’s track and bestows upon the listener an indelible thirst for a further exploration into the musical minds of the artist and his cohorts. How golden and shiny does Gideon Bensen’s solo career look in the future? Listen and you’ll be blissfully aware. One can only hope that Bensen is allowed the courtesy of individuality by fans of his other work; while The Preatures are a magnificent force to be reckoned with, Bensen’s solo work will blow minds in equal measures and will surely leave a lasting impact in a musical field separate from his band and all his own just the same.
Bensen’s single All New Low is out now through his very own label, Puncture Records and is married beautifully to an ominous music video directed by Sarah Adamson. The video pairs perfectly – in darkness and in emotion – with the track and as its glitchy red and blacks hit your eyes, they seem to have been written into the song itself.
In his own words, Bensen says his music is different simply because it’s “not The Preatures. They are a band and all our personalities are imprinted into the sound we’ve created.” This becomes apparent in the copious inclusion of electronic, synthesized sounds, which are a departure from the Preatures’ modern spin on old school rock n’ roll. Gideon Bensen will be gracing the stages of Shebeen Ballroom in Melbourne and Newtown Social Club in Sydney on the 12th and 13th of February, respectively bringing his fresh synth-soul soundscapes to a live setting will certainly prove Bensen’s talents to a wide-eyed audience. If you’re not a fan now, you will be soon.