downtempo indie indie folk indie pop indie rock review rock

Benjamin Lazar Davis – I Bet You’re Fucking Review

Not what your fucking expecting.

Sounds like…

If Sufjan Stevens grew up on TikTok.

The review

Benjamin Lazar Davis knows how to spark an instant impression. The title of his new EP and lead single initially made my eyes roll. It has all the subtlety of a slap across the face with a wet fish. More fool me though. Look beyond that title and you’ll find a thoughtful EP full of indie pop ditties that stick with you. Somewhere between Sylvan Esso, Bon Ivor and Sufjan Stevens lies Benjamin.

Davis likes to genre stretch from song to song. The lead single ‘I bet You’re Fucking’ is a downtempo synth-pop number. Sad vocals, echoing synth stabs and a chilled drum loop. In many ways it reminded me of a slightly poppier Greg Laswell. They share the same level of misery when penning relationship songs too. The single, whilst very catchy, is actually the only pop number here. Everything else fits more into the indie folk-rock genre.

‘Adeline’ is a beautifully put together ballad of acoustic guitars, strings and duetting vocals with a female vocalist. It feels heartfelt and intimate, just as ‘Microdosing Melancholy’ does with its liquid piano riffs. These trickling wrinkled pianos break into 60’s rock for the choruses. Here rotary wheel styled organs and synths lead the melodies over sad guitars and pianos. By the time we’ve hit the acoustic brass and acoustic guitar ballad of ‘Call to Prayer’, you couldn’t be further away from the lead singles’ vibe. It isn’t that the song is poor, it’s great. It just isn’t representative of anything else here. The closing EP track ‘Our Silver Cord’ is a dozy slow rock piece that closes out the EP with a country twang.

Photo cover for Benjamin Lazar Davis
Benjamin Lazar Davis

All the tracks are catchy and memorable. I have one minor quibble with the production of the EP though, but this is a personal taste. Every instrument is recorded extremely close to the microphone and they feel harsh and tinny. There is plenty of bass here but the middle of the EQ seems to be reduced down. It gives the folk-rock tracks the impression that they’ve been played through the radio. It is odd and took my ears a little bit to get used to. Again, this is a preference and likely not a big deal with others.

Ultimately, the question is are these tracks good? The answer is a resounding yes. Managing to sound like the TikTok version of Sufjan Stevens might sound like a backhanded compliment. What I mean but that is that Benjamin Lazar Davis can sprinkle a bit of art weirdness onto his indie rock and still be accessible. This positions him as a hybrid gateway artist for music fans to cross borders and that is always a good thing for new music discovery.

Recommended track: Adeline

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Benjamin Lazar Davis - I Bet Your Fucking

7.5

7.5/10

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