Label: Island Records
Released: 13th November 2020
On the surface, New Zealand tends to punch above its population-based weight when it comes to smart, shiny pop music. And while that perception may, in part, be based around the might of Lorde, it’s not entirely ridiculous to consider BENEE the next most likely to make that interstellar jump.
Crafting smart, bright, bedroom bops, she’s already shown a talent for creating megahits. There’s much more to debut album ‘Hey u x’ than TikTok-fueled smash ‘Supalonely’, though, and BENEE is no social media flash in the pan. From weird but wonderful follow-up ‘Snail’ to the laconically bewitching ‘Kool’, there are standout moments aplenty.
All-star team-ups too – Grimes-assist ‘Sheesh’ providing a nod to 90s house which adequately makes up for the fact ‘Plain’, featuring queen of sardonic pop Lily Allen and Atlanta rapper Flo Milli, is actually – good song as it is – a little mean when you think about it. BENEE’s potential is huge, and, as an opening gambit, ‘Hey u x’ sets the scene perfectly.