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Benny Tipene - Toulouse EP Review

18 Mar 2014 // A review by Kate Taylor

Ahh BENNAAY TIPEENNAAYYY! There’s something about his name that someone I know was never able to pronounce in any fashion other than in the ostentatious X Factor NZ announcer style.

Benny Tipene the media darling; Benny the scapegoat, Benny the bearer of unfair sleights on his talent and song writing skills; he’s all these things and yet none of these things and the best part of all is, one listen to his stunning EP Toulouse and you’ll be hooked! Look, if you’ve been anywhere near a screen over our passed Kiwi summer then you’ll be familiar with Make You Mine; it’s been inescapable as the soundtrack to a fizzy commercial for the yoof. So lest you fertilize your poppies to encourage tall, judgey-wudgey growth, do yourself a favour and skip on past to track two, Lonely and then on to enjoy another four deliciously delicate and introspective acoustic folky pop tracks, that are so inviting you’ll be singing them by the second chorus of each track; and that’s not cause they’re formulaic it’s because they are easy, comfortable and natural to slip into.

What you see is what you get with this album and I suspect with Benny himself; the
slick boy-bandesque styled promo shot has been replaced by an abstract-ish portrait painting, hailing out to you to become enamoured. If you’re still not convinced, for any fans of Dallas Green and his superb City and Colour releases out there…then Toulouse is right up your alley. Benny, if I may address the nation’s alternative-folk son so informally; has taken his time to create this little love letter of an EP and it smacks of the delay being due to his perfectionism and care to produce a solid, lasting debut effort; rather than a potentially perceived scramble to create content. Long may his reign of measured song writing contribute to our musical landscape for many years to come.


About Benny Tipene

Prior to becoming a household name in New Zealand, Benny Tipene spent his early years in Palmerston North and initially taught himself the piano in order to learn Let It Be as a tribute to his grandmother. After wanting to play in a band but being told by musicians that no-one played piano in a rock band, he learned guitar. The band then let him in, and they named themselves The Nerines.

Later, Benny ventured over to the UK and Europe on his Big OE, taking a guitar and teaching himself to write songs. Not long after returning home, the 23-year-old heard about The X Factor auditions and went along out of curiosity to see what it was all about – having never seen the show before.

But from that very first audition, Benny had New Zealand hooked – with this faux ‘50s look, skin-tight black jeans and that knee-weakening grin, not to mention his soulful folk voice and charismatic charm.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Benny Tipene


Year: 2014
Type: EP
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Tummy Demo Live
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Benny Tipene
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Room Demo Live 4
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Room Demo Live Complete
Year: 2012
Type: Album

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