NEW MUSIC: Donny Benét – Second Dinner

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The smooth sailing prince of low-slung synth pop and disco funk is back with a new single Second Dinner’. It’s another winning slice of coy 80s electronic pop with shades of Bryan Ferry fronting a sultry disco house band with Giorgio Moroder producing.

TOUR DATES:

  • 04 Oct – Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA
  • 10 Oct – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
  • 11 Oct – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay. NSW
  • 18 Oct – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA
  • 19 Oct – Mojo’s Bar, Freemantle, WA
  • 25 Oct – The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
  • 02 Nov – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

VIDEO: Donny Benét feat. Kirin J. Callinan – The Edge

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Carrying on the audio visual brilliance of videos and tracks from Donny Benét’s excellent 2014 LP Weekend At Donny’s is the new clip for the track ‘The Edge’, featuring the Dave Gahan meets Andrew Eldritch vocals of local legend Kirin J. Callinan. And to think this pair was passed over to represent Australia at Eurovision. The event needs and the audience surely craves the duo’s shadowy and neon eroticism.

LIVE REVIEW: Donny Benét, You Beauty @ Brighton Up Bar, Sydney (10/10/14)

 

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IMG_9673You Beauty released their rugby league-themed album Jersey Flegg earlier this year and it slowly but surely garnered attention leading to its imminent vinyl pressing. Their opening set showed they can nail the sound of the album in a live context with chorused guitar picking out lazy hooks and the rhythm section hitting a ‘Strokes and The Cure on the dancefloor’ sweet spot. Frontman Wil Farrier spent more time off the stage, pulling moves, prowling and climbing the PA speakers. It was a superb set that hit the perfect balance between humour, energy and melancholy.

Donny Benét has stepped up his live show considerably since the days of indie friends making up his band or doing solo shows with loops and drum machines. On the back of the new album Weekend At Donny’s he’s assembled a full band of what look like professional session musicians including keyboards, guitar, bass and saxophone. It takes the live Benét experience to a new level with the songs now sounding like fully fledged 80s electro/pop/funk tracks – alive and kicking in suits and grins. Three guest vocalists also brought a shift to the live dynamic, all of them adding their own stamp of style/pastiche. Geoffrey O’Connor was an icy starlet on Charlotte’s Web, Jack Ladder brought the louche sleaze singing about the last tourist on the sex bus and the sex-machine SPOD brought the street party attitude on Fantasies. Benét looked to be having a ball gazing out across the sold-out room, slapping and popping bass strings with a look on his face that was part disbelief but mostly pleasure. Sure there is an element of tongue-in-cheek with what he does but on the back of extremely well-written songs and experienced live with a room full of bodies in motion the Benét experience makes complete sense.

Chris Familton

this review was first published in The Music

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LIST: DS Top Albums of 2012

2012 TOP ALBUMS

2012 felt like somewhat of a mixed bag of musical lollies with our favourites encompassing americana, power pop, 80s synth, indie and many shades of psychedelia. The only thing that tied them all together was the strong streak of melody that each was built on. Even in the case of someone like Neil Young & Crazy Horse it was Young’s incredible weaving of musical notes on Old Black that made that record such a delight. Hopefully there will be a few surprises scattered across our list which will send you down another musical rabbit hole to find out if we are onto something… Hopefully we are.

30-21

20-11

10-1

square-600-11Charlie Horse – I Hope I’m Not A Monster

square-600-16Deep Sea Arcade – Outlands

LOWER PLENTYLower Plenty – Hard Rubbish

square-600-15Dinosaur Jr – I Bet On Sky

square-600-13Lee Ranaldo – Between The Times & The Tides

UnknownNeil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

square-600-17Lawrence Arabia – The Sparrow

square-600Lambchop – Mr. M

square-600-14Suzy Connolly – Night Larks

square-600-12Father John Misty – Dear Fun

ALBUM REVIEW: Donny Benét | Electric Love

by Chris Familton

Expectations of another album of Donny Benét’s earnest synthetic funk pop weren’t high given that his debut was in such a specific and narrow style. Surprisingly and thankfully those concerns have been comprehensively allayed on Electric Love.

This is an album that takes the template of Don’t Hold Back and stretches it, bends it and reconfigures it into refreshingly exuberant shapes. The tools are still the same – drum machines and analog synthesizers – but this time round they sound less karaoke and more like lost transmissions from Italian dance-floors and American high school dances in the 1980s. Benet has stretched out the songs and concentrated more on the instrumentation, though not at the expense of his lascivious vocals. These feel like 80s remixes where the artist or in most cases the remixer had the freedom to indulge in rhythms and experiments with the technology of the time. On top of the extended sections of songs (only one comes in under five minutes) like You Will Make It In LA there are some manic saxophone solos that sound like The Pointer Sisters and Kenny G jamming with Suicide.

Vocally, Benét continues his dissection of all things love and lust with suggestive song titles like Gimme Your Heat, Treat Yourself and All 4 You. When he does come across a lyrical hook he works it well, as on Julia which adds new life to a name synonymous with the Prime Minister.

Benét proves there is still life left in his exploration of the naive technology of the 1980s and by wisely allowing the focus to shift from his persona to the instruments he has produced a surprisingly infectious and endearing album of electro pop music.

Electric Love is out now on Rice is Nice

this review was first published in Drum Media

 

WATCH: Donny Benet | Gimme Your Heat [Video]

Sydney’s electro lothario Donny Benet returns with his second album Electric Love (out now via Rice is Nice) and if you thought his schtick wouldn’t last beyond one album then think again. We’ll have a review up soon but Electric Love is a real step up from the debut with tracks stretched into jams that sound like The Pointer Sisters jamming with Suicide. There is a greater focus on the instrumentation and some glorious sax solos. Check out the first single Gimme Your Heat