Friday saw the release of the debut EP from Auckland native BENEE, Fire on Marzz.
On choosing the name, BENEE stated,"When it came to coming up with a name for my EP, what first came to mind was wanting a phrase that was a big old explosion, because that's kinda what the EP feels like to me. I came up with the name FIRE ON MARZZ and thought it did the best job at not really relating to any song in the EP. I didn't think there was a phrase that could sum them all up."
The only way to describe the album is: cool personified.
It opens with huge track, 'Soaked'. This track is easily the most notable in her repertoire with around 20 million streams on Spotify and counting. It also made it's way into my Hottest 100 votes (a coveted position for all music lovers). I have much love for this track for a multitude of reasons. The indie pop vibes are definitely evident, but not overwhelming. The song walks the line between pop and low-key RnB with finesse. I also appreciate that it isn't overproduced. It's distinctly minimalist, and yet easily deserves a place amongst the catchiest songs of the year so far.
Second track 'Glitter' is another vibe altogether. The tempo is slightly quicker, with a more evident sprinkling of the classic elements of indie-pop. It also showcases a wider vocal range for BENEE. Like every other track on the album, it oozes a sense of self-assurance most of us would have been likely lacking at 19.
'Wishful Thinking' the third track of the EP, features some heavy synth sounds and arguably the second catchiest chorus of the EP as a whole. "Lying around, day dreaming // wanting you now, but that's wishful thinking". It's full on foot tapping. Following this, the album flows into 'Afterlife'.
'Afterlife' is definitely more layered than the majority of the other tracks on the EP. It seems to outline a revenge plot that continues across into the afterlife, with the chorus peaking "In this afterlife // I see you as the killer, pulling down on the trigger as if I mean nothing to ya // In this afterlife // I will prove that you're ugly and make your new boyfriend love me till there's no one above me". Relatable.
'Evil Spider' brings us back to the RnB undertones, with the tiniest dash of a jazz influence in my opinion. This is the second biggest track for the 19 year old. The lyrics tell the story of Benee as a metaphorical spider wanting to tangle up her current crush, with the chorus taking a darker turn with promises of a 'bite' if you step wrong. The EP then winds up with a dreamy end to things with 'Want Me Back'.
Overall, it is an amazing showcase of what the 19 year old is capable of. And the best part for all of us is that she is only just getting started.