James Bennett’s ‘Broken Wicker Chair’ is an intimate soundscape

James Bennett is back with Broken Wicker Chair. With its sun-soaked mix full of natural tones and Bennett’s laid back delivery, the track is a warm, welcome embrace.

Curiously, the first sound that hits your ears in Broken Wicker Chair — the new single from Newcastle’s James Bennett — is somewhat unidentifiable. The ticking clock/scissor snipping (?) motif sets a rhythmic blueprint for what follows and more importantly, a sense of place.

As the cascading layers enter the piece, Bennett unfurls the narrative of the song with precision. Sparse piano chords, the oh-so-relaxed banjo arpeggios, the earthy kick drum underpinning the groove, the keening blues harp (apparently aided and abetted by a healthy diet of Bob Dylan as a child). The vision it conjures is vivid: it’s intimate and places you right in the room with him. And that’s even before he sings.

James Bennett

If Bennett has invited you in with his instrumental arrangement, his vocals — in both the conversational nature of his delivery and his lyrical content — complete the picture. That’s not to say there isn’t an underlying mystery. “This house, it’s not mine/But I go here all the time”, says Bennett. He’s taking us on a tour of memories and places, but they’re not his.

There’s much that can be inferred from the dusky scene that Bennett creates in Broken Wicker Chair. Like any skilled writer, he shows without telling, offering a bridge to the listener, so they can walk straight into that creaky old house of their own volition. One thing is clear: if you buy the ticket and take the ride with Bennett, you’ll be in the hands of a supremely skilled navigator.

Listen to Broken Wicker Chair below: