by Jacob Wingate-Bishop
I don’t normally go into all the e-mails and technicalities of those I meet through this blog. I don’t allow myself the pretension or give over to the tactlessness of lowering the curtain, so to speak; revealing to the world how musicians contact me about their work, or what they want reviewed.
But this is different. A little over a week ago, I received an e-mail from a man called bennett, who announced himself, rather quaintly, as ‘a friendly contact here in Chicago’. His honesty and eccentric charm took me by surprise, but in truth, it’s his music which really lured me in.
Since the age of 17, bennett has been playing in rock ‘n roll bands, himself the son of two musicians. In his own words, he started playing ‘pretty much any instrument he could get his hands on’, and in the start of 2023, decided to finally sit down and record some of his own music. His music is currently available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Music and his own YouTube channel.
The four tracks he’s conceived are entirely the work of bennett; he plays everything on it, delivers easy vocals and says he just wants to find people who enjoy it. He has no care for fame, success or pandering – and that makes him a true musician in my book.
The first of his own material, ‘Given Ups’, is a delectably pop number that owes as much to latter-day country as it does the beloved jangle-rock of the mid-90s. It has more than a little of Sugar’s ‘If I Can’t Change Your Mind’ in the chorus, and proves just as simplistically catchy.
‘Locket’, ‘No More’ and ‘Missy’s Gone’ are all much in the same vein, nostalgic and rollicking in equal measure, with bennett’s vocals straight out of an early-2000s indie rock band. Whilst the tunes might not reach the heights of Deep Blue Something, James or Dodgy’s ‘Staying Out for the Summer’, they’re pop-rock beauties in their own right – odes to teenage heartbreak and longing.
It’ll be interesting to see what bennett puts his mind to next. The accompanying videos for each track are as lovably incoherent as the songs are fresh, and if his next compositions hit the same benchmark, there may be a debut album worth watching out for.
If you’re curious about bennett’s music, you can listen to ‘Given Ups’ – and the rest of the singles – on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/3g3p6MpTMlV9469eVnvauT?si=e0a1221ad1534e89
If music videos are your thing, check out his YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@markbennett33
bennett’s music can also be found on Apple Music.
Until next time, and the next infectious jangle-pop tune, I’m Jacob, writer, and your friendly contact here at Splendid Fred.