Benny Sing’s new album is dreamy

Dutch artist redefines his sound in “City Pop”


Album artwork courtesy of Bandcamp

Alex Camilli, @A_Carnation

Dutch pop artist Benny Sings announced he will be releasing his sixth studio album. The sixth album retains the dreamy characteristics heard in his soft hearted ballads of past works.

Sings was born in Dordrecht, Netherlands where he formed his first band in high school called “The Loveboat” before setting out to collaborate with other bands such as De Toffen, Abstract Dialect and Heavenly Social. Through those experiences, he has built a resume apt to create quality records.

Sings’ most recent release, “City Pop,” was through Stones Throw Records and has been hinted at since November of last year when he dropped his own rendition of Drake’s “Passionfruit” under a new label. “City Pop” was officially released on all streaming platforms Feb. 22.

Sings’ latest effort delivers 34 minutes of his heartfelt take on love embellished by a blend of live instruments and synthesized leads. His song “Everything I Know” begins with repeated chord patterns as Sings details a faulty relationship using his soft-spoken vocal delivery heard in his earlier works.

Ending the intro track are a group of uplifting horns that play with drum patterns in the mix. The union of unexpected synths and an organic rhythm section has always been a characteristic of Sings’ sound. This quality can be heard in its truest form on the track “Not Enough.”

A sticky bass line immediately kicks off the track that compensates for the simplistic lyrics. As the song progresses, the saxophone solo meshes well with both the sub-bass and live bass without making the mix sound muddy.

“Duplicate” is one of the tracks on the album that uses texture soundscapes to add to the overall vibe. Sings recruits Canadian recording artist Mocky to execute a brief chorus before the percussions come in to liven up the higher frequencies. The clicks and pops in this track are intentionally done to add warmth as if you were listening to vinyl.

The song “Late at Night” is my favorite because Sings’ vocals can become repetitive at times and the way he transitions from the pre-chorus to chorus makes the melody feel rich and resolved. The bass breaches the vocal harmonies at just the right moments creating necessary tension throughout the track.

“Summerlude” is the album’s interlude hence the title of the track, which features smooth Rhodes piano chords as Sings compares photosynthesis to personal growth. Sings mentions how this track’s purpose was for an advertisement stating,“This song was written for a beer commercial, but never made the cut.”

“It gives a little bit of peace to the album, a moment of rest,” the artist continued.

The track titled “My World” featuring Japanese multi-instrumentalist Cornelius is the most ambient on the album combining a plethora of synths and modulated keys. This smooth ballad serves as the projects true ending drastically deviating from the rest of the tracks.

“City Pop” just might be Sings’ most concise project yet, diversifying his sound as well as showing his skill set as a musician. If sappy narratives aren’t your forte then his diverse production will keep you guessing on what this capable visionary will do next.