13 May 2021
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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

From her hometown in Auckland, New Zealand, breakthrough popstar Stella Bennett, aka BENEE, sounds unphased, unchanged and almost impervious to the cataclysmic success coming her way since releasing her debut EP last summer. Already her tale is one of eye-watering statistics and achievements with half a billion streams of her latest single Supalonely featuring Gus Dapperton, a track that is still camped at the top of Spotify and radio airplay charts all over the world, collecting platinum records as it goes and seeing her make her U.S. TV debut on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in June. Her story is international and expanding on the hour, across modern and traditional platforms. Her audience seems endless. BENEE, however, remains easygoing, centered and—most importantly—herself.

It’s not yet six months since the release of her second EP of 2019, Stella & Steve (follow-up to debut Fire On Marzz), garnered knockout reviews. Breakthrough track Supalonely is a slice of upbeat and original pop—like its creator, a little exotic and cheerfully weird. The song hits like a ray of sunshine, jammed to the hilt with personality and punctuated by BENEE’s verbal tics. Her loneliness is not just empowering, it becomes super-powered as she sings, “I've been lonely, mm, ah, yeah...Lonely (I'm a lonely bitch)”

“I had broken up with my boyfriend,” recalls BENEE. “I wanted to twist the fact that I was sad and irritated about the relationship ending—so I wrote the song poking fun at myself.” Self-deprecation comes naturally to BENEE, expressed through her playful personality both on stage and online, an explosive riot of randomness that makes her all the more intriguing. However, if we can’t pin Stella down, who is this STEVE?

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for BENEE

Releases

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

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