Album: Benjamin Spike Saunders – Benjamin Spike Saunders

Indie folk multi-instrumentalist, Benjamin Spike Saunders, has released a brand new record via the Bristol-based label, Gold Day. The self-titled EP is a suite of dreamy and somber lo-fi alternative folk songs. Each song is thoughtfully and beautifully orchestrated, with sparse guitar and yearning vocals being joined by bursts of color provided by harmonies, strings, pianos, saxophone, and tape loops.

“Dressing Gown” sets the tone for this texturally rich and smartly arranged record with its dreamy, woozy trance-like feel. A wave of warbly and warm guitar lines wash over the folky despondent beginning of the song leaving the listener on a beach of swirling emotions. “Interlude I” acts as a palette cleanser with muffled guitar strums and tape loop sounds, which prepares us for the second proper track.

“I Can’t Impress You” has a snappy snare drum and glassy guitars that glide along before the same haunting narrator returns to spin lyrical webs of disappointment and the feeling of not living up to others expectations. A chorus of breathy, echoey reverbed vocals confess the sentiments of the song’s title. An animated music videohas been released to accompany this track. “Interlude II” serves as an intermission and tension builder between the EP’s middle and ending songs with its briefly plucked guitar strings.

“About Here” closes out the album with its most ominous vibe and sounds. A dark, buzzing open-tuned guitar chugs and builds up steam through the intro and straight into the sparsely sung verses, highlighted with touches of saxophone. The lead vocals are joined intermittently with note-long harmonic duets and the occasional twinkle of piano keys. Then nearly all instrumentation is stripped back to leave us with the lone vocals before building the track back to its climactic ending. Interwoven vocal harmonies and vocal parts, distorted guitars, piano, strings, saxophone, and every other instrument who has played a part in this EP’s performance return for a final epic curtain call.

The new Benjamin Spike Saunders self-titled EP is available now on lovely orange vinyl and digitally from the Gold Day imprint of Rough Trade.

Written by John Brouk

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