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BENEE - EP Review: Fire On Marzz

17 Jul 2019 // A review by Ben Ruegg

Fire On Marzz. This EP is actually on fire. For an artist that I knew next to nothing about last year, to now being one of the most talked-about NZ artists right now, Benee's debut EP is a testament to her songwriting craftsmanship.

Starting off with Soaked, a breakout hit, the album is a chilled affair. There is so much to like about this song. What caught my ear initially was the fact that I heard a flat second chord in a modern pop song. I mean, this isn't something you would typically hear. The slappy bass funk, combined with the stabbing guitar and sweet major 7 and minor 7 chords, it is pop genius. Lyrically, I love the concept of going quiet around someone which is what it sounds like it is about.

But don't be fooled. While Soaked has had a lot of airplay, Fire On Marzz is a showcase of her writing, knack of catchy melody and clever instrumentation. As someone who loves to pay attention to what is happening behind the vocals and lyrics, I just sit in awe at the amount of production and care that has been given to each track. I liken it to one of my favourite albums of all time which is Smash Mouth's Astrolounge. Just like that album, Benee's EP is melodic, catchy, funky and damn right fun to listen to completely. It appeals to my producer side as well as being an album that anyone could sit down and listen to. It is ear candy to me.

Having seen Benee live, I can confidently say that the songs translate wonderfully live so while it is cleverly produced, it is not at the cost of not being able to perform the songs live.

I cannot pick a song I like the most, they are all incredible and captured brilliantly.

If you enjoy Soaked, check this EP out and just listen from start to finish. An absolute gem of an EP. This is New Zealand modern pop at it's very best.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About BENEE

BENEE is the dreamy voice of a disaffected generation, breaking through in 2020 with Supalonely, her irresistible, four billion streaming alt-pop banger that practically defined the pandemic experience. Twenty-three-year-old Stella Bennett mixes her deeply heartfelt reflections on life in suburban Auckland, New Zealand, with offbeat and often whimsical lyrical encounters with zombies and snails, all produced with a technicolour ear for cooked beats and unpredictable hooks.

A fervent online following and been drawn to BENEE’s two intriguing EP releases, Fire On Marzz and Stella and Steve before her guest-packed, yet highly personal album, Hey u x was released at the tail end of 2020.

The album was a vibrant musical world with guests ranging from Grimes and Lily Allen to Gus Dapperton and Muroki (another New Zealander BENEE has since signed to her own label, Olive Records). It was listed as one of Billboard’s 25 Best Pop Albums of 2020, noting that BENEE “contemplates the woes of Gen Z with a keen ear for choruses and arrangements that oscillate between indie rock and hyper pop”. Stereogum praised its “quirky but impeccably produced pop music” and Vogue called it “13 tracks of heavenly indie-alt-pop”.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for BENEE

Releases

Lychee
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Fire On Marzz
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Stella & Steve
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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