Mac Benson revels in melancholia

‘Love and All its Colour’ is the second EP from singer songwriter Mac Benson and follows 2016’s ‘Hot Water Bottle’. In a largely piano based EP Benson manages to catch the sombre moods that fall on all of us.

Opener ‘Hands’ is a slow, brooding song with Benson’s gentle vocals telling a tale full of pain and a longing for a loneliness that it feels like he doesn’t really want. Slow chords played on a piano full of reverb and a low rumbling bassline are interjected with small snippets of field recording which add more flavour to the song. As the song progresses Benson provides his own backing vocals and a loose kick drum adds a sense of pace to a song that previously felt free and loose in time. ‘When You’re Sleeping’ is an instrumental piece that is really made by a recording of the rain and a bird sitting on the top of a slow and simple melody on a reverb heavy piano which conjures up images of Benson sitting at a piano by the window trying to write a song and being distracted by the nature outside.

Third track ‘Yellow Light’ is led by an arpeggiating electric piano and a slow but monotonous drum beat. Benson’s vocals are very rhythmic and layered upon one another to create beautiful harmonies while singing about bleak subjects before dropping out for a sole voice to say ‘I just wanna feel everything’ which is one of the more poignant notes on a very thought filled EP.

‘The Grass, The Lake, The Light’ is another piece driven by a sample of birds and prepares the listener for penultimate track ‘Bed’, a message to a lover asking them to stick around a little longer. The final verse is the cheeriest we hear Benson, relieving the moment love was confessed and how negative feelings were pushed away for a little while.

‘Love and All its Colour’ is rounded off with ‘Colours’, a beautiful instrumental piece with a high pitched hum juxtaposing the heavy kick drum underneath, a small vocal sample slips in and out and the last note played on the piano is allowed to ring out in its entirety allowing the emotions of the EP to settle and simmer. This EP is about melancholia and Benson has captured that feeling perfectly. It is hard to listen to this collection of songs without thinking of struggling to leave a warm cosy bed or wishing for a lover to return. Benson has written songs about the everyday feelings no one wants to have but somehow these songs make them seem ok.

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