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Lonely Benson – Lonely Benson

Lonely Benson is an absolute fucking virtuoso and his debut album makes that crystal clear. It’s scattered with hints of nostalgia that touch specific parts of the soul (my Neon Indian chillwave phase and perpetual ’80s fandom are both satisfied), yet he simultaneously delivers a new experience that teases out fresh thoughts and feelings. The carefree tropical vibes that are spread throughout the record are so tantalizing and make for the perfect soundtrack as it begins to push upwards of 100 degrees on this side of the country.

The album’s last single is my favorite cut in particular. It’s titled “Let It Go” and it’s driven by buzzy synths layered in a way that grounds the song while simultaneously giving it a dynamic touch. The hook is a perfect culmination as all the moving electronic parts strike together in harmony while his singing feels like another symbiotic layer rather than a detached lead. It’s modern new wave excellence and I can’t get enough. My other immediate recommendations are “Location” and “Let Me Know”, but you can’t go wrong with any track on this album. Kick back on the beach, press play, and let it sweep you away.

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Music

Lonely Benson – Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)

On his new single, Lonely Benson takes on “Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” – one of Hall & Oates’ many classic tracks – in colorfully saturated style. The quirky synths feel like they’re stripped from the workings of a psychedelic cartoon, the bossa nova flute solo feels like a tropical mid 20th century island vacation, and the vocals are as cool as the ocean breeze. I’m protective of my ’80s favorites, but Benson pays homage to the original while delivering a nuanced modern sound that makes it just as replayable as its source.

The track brings to mind a beach where the sun shines so bright that there appears to be a filtered haze. I’m laying on a towel under the crisp rays of our nearest star. A beautiful woman runs by in slow motion. A couple playfully wrestles with one another, their smiles shining pure. Leaving this daydream while I sit at my desk? Can’t go for that. No can do.

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