On their debut album ‘Can I go again?’, Benét showcases their vulnerability and honesty with a beautifully-phrased soft-rock palette. A blithe but well-curated blend of indie-pop and soul, the 10-track album evokes Arlo Parks, Julia Jacklin and Anna Burch in its embrace of an easy-listening coda exploring twenty-something romantic disillusion. The Richmond artist’s first single ‘Insensitive’ served up anthemic rock with a bite, and throughout Benét cleverly tempers with tonality without losing coherence; the guitar-infused songs are balanced out by the more RnB-leaning ones like ‘Things Change’, with its funky bass groove and sing-rap flourishes.
Benét’s interior style is more fully developed with the inclusion of close Richmond, Virginia and Philadelphia collaborators such as Garret Russ (guitar), Stephanie Young (bass), and Lance Holmes (drums). Opener ‘The Real Me’ is a delicate song scoring a breakup with Benét intoning “I am realising that you might see the real me”, as pulsating guitar lines create an atmosphere of resigned acceptance. ‘Missin’ Out’ is countrified melancholia; if it wasn’t for the downcast lyrics it could work as a lullaby. ‘Overpowering’ and ‘No Alarm’ are more buoyant, shifting through different mental states, soundtracking the quest for inner peace, for touch and tangible connections with the outer world; ‘Facts’ is fuelled by frustration, the diaphanous backing vocals enhancing the song’s sense of murky world-building.
Benét concludes ‘Can i go again?’ with the twilight-rock of ‘Lose You’ – one of the most layered compositions on the album and a welcome respite from an experience that can at moments languish in its mellow design. The song ends with a phone call going to voicemail and the reverberant chant “I hope our love is permanent”. As with the rest of ‘Can I go again?’, Benét has a knack for heart-on-your-sleeve lyricism that comforts and cajoles weary souls.
Words: Amelie Grice