Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bands to Care About: Benjamin Shaw

Acoustic/folk music tends to fall into two categories: Nick Drake or Bob Dylan. The Nick Drakes make sweet, intimate music meant to be heard late at night. The Bob Dylans tell bigger stories with bigger sound, but lose some of that intimacy in the process. Few manage to pull both off without it backfiring horribly, but Benjamin Shaw manages to in strides, and he’s only 22!

Every good word that usually gets associated with this music should be applied here: Raw, riveting, intimate sounds with masterful and pretty heart-wrenching lyrics. But add some new words to the fry as well: Distortion, self-deprecation, and humor. His debut “I’ve Got the Pox, the Pox is What I Got” (review coming very soon) is a shining example of this. You can’t help but sniffle a little to the longing of “Chocolate Girl” then laugh to the lyrics of “When I Fell Over in the City”. The title track is a two-part song, is 10 minutes long, and is so masterfully crafted that it just breezes by in a mental two minutes.

Shaw isn’t resting on his laurels either. Mot only was his debut released on Audio Anti-Hero (a rising indie label if I’ve ever seen one), but he already has new songs up, and supposedly a full length album in the works. Plus he covered label mates Nosferatu D2's “It’s Christmas Time (for God’s Sake)” and possible made it even more depressing. I can’t wait to see what he puts out next.


Benjamin Shaw Website
Benjamin Shaw Myspace

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