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The BIG Reason

Music, opinions, and portfolio of Mark Eagleton, musician and web developer in Northern CA.

Songs in the Key of Animals album cover

New Music Tuesday: Benji Hughes, Songs in the Key of Animals

This record initially caught my eye for the awesome watercolor cover. It didn’t really do it for me at first, and I was going to skip this week, but I found myself actually listening to it quite a bit. I think you should listen to it, too.

Comparisons to Ween and Beck might be obvious, but this record also makes me feel like Die Antwoord or Jack Parrow make me feel. I think it may turn out to be a nice spin for Friday beer lunches in the future.

The lyrics are silly and light-hearted on the surface, but I suspect there could be more there. Although “Girls Love Shoes” probably isn’t hiding much.

“Fall Me In Love” has a lazy, casual R&B feel. The track has a female lead, with really nice, laid back backing vocal by Benji. The laziness is enhanced by dissonant semitone strings that twinkle in like wind chimes. And then the vibe is immediately destroyed by the VAVAVAVOOM SHOKALOCK that kicks off “Sugartree.” I can’t not love that.

It’s not all silly dancing and giggles, though. His deep baritone voice is very well suited to crooning out some sweet emo. The album takes a u-turn at “Magic Summertime” and “Picnic” which both have Tindersticks vibe. The rest of the record is really pretty balads. This likely splits up the vinyl release nicely.

I’m a sucker for variety, and Songs in the Key of Animals definitely has a good amount of that.

Buy Songs in the Key of Animals

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