Monolith Cocktail - Benedict Benjamin

The inimitable, literary poetic Ayfer Simms reviews the upcoming LP, Night Songs, from former Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue band member Ben Rubinstein. Under the alter ego of Benedict Benjamin, our, now, solo troubadour continues to tread a well-worn, earthy folk pathway; creating his own visceral lullaby, dreamy and hard won romantic magic in an embittered twilight hour landscape.

Benedict Benjamin  ‘Night Songs’
Released on Sugarcoat Records,   25th  March  2016.

We are solitary; we are unguarded in our abandon as we are attuning our mood to the ghostly instruments stepping in discreetly, as if playing in a little town far from the cities’ tumult. On the side of the road there is a caravan, forgotten and dusty, down the road there is a motel with sizzling lights. It’s not daytime here yet, but a long lasting dusk prevails, the grass is coveting that moment before the sun appears and bathes all in a hot light.

Perhaps not many live here or maybe many people did, a long time ago; Benedict Benjamin gracefully catches the neglected shadows and their fading stories to render beautiful echoes of them, as songs, as stories using his calm and melodious voice, his gaze we can hear without looking much, sensing his presence through his delicate wording.


The album entices you to close your eyes, the doors too and the windows, and keep away the grey and the sunny weather, away from anything palpable but that whisper inside your head, transported with his soothing voice, vigorous in its fragility.

Couples love, couples cry, one man is torn and another keeps forgetting the pain and kneels down again in front of his one and only. A woman loves and another weeps. And another grins.

Is it time to go back to the side of the mountains to dance on each other’s shoulders while the owl blinks? And the red lanterns shine? Leave the “bruising thin skin” aside, let yourself float in the moment, with the smell of perfume of the spring rubbing in forever. There is a vintage air to the album, a breeze from sixty years ago, and we dance all night long, blissfully serene, for a moment.

Words: Ayfer Simms


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