Only months after the release of her debut EP, FIRE ON MARZZ, New Zealand’s blooming pop icon BENEE is back with a new EP.
Taking out four titles at last nights NZ Music Awards [Single of The Year – ‘Soaked’, Best Solo Artist, Breakthrough Artist of The Year, and Best Pop Artist] last night, BENEE has been finding any excuse she can to get in the studio between touring commitments.
STELLA & STEVE sounds like BENEE’s most emotional and well-constructed work, which becomes especially apparent in latter tracks like ‘Drifting’ and ‘Blu’. The meaning behind the EP, however, is quite simple. “I am Stella and my car is called Steve,” BENEE explains.
STELLA & STEVE starts with the already-released ‘Find An Island’, a cruisy summer track about getting away from a broken relationship.
BENEE – ‘Find An Island’:
Then comes the first collaboration of the EP, ‘Supalonely’, which features American singer Gus Dapperton. Of that second track, BENEE says: “This one is a super self-deprecating song where I just take the piss out of myself being sad haaaa!”
In fact, the song begins with BENEE confessing that she has “fucked up”, and that she’s a “loser”.
“Then BOOM, Gus Dapperton drops a twist at the end with his funky lil verse,” she concludes.
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BENEE – ‘Supalonely ft. Gus Dapperton’:
‘Monsta’ and ‘Drifting’ take things in a further emotionally-charged direction, with ‘Drifting’ copping a feature from New Zealand’s Jack Berry, who BENEE is bringing on her Australian tour this month. The mellow track could be a highlight for this release.
BENEE – ‘Monsta’:
BENEE – ‘Drifting’:
“Jack Berry has this crazy cool voice & I’m a fan of his music! I am taking him and his band to Australia for our tour this month.”
Closing STELLA & STEVE is ‘Blu’ – perhaps a step further into hyper-emotional territory, this time with no listed collaborators, where she tells of a person making her feel small. “Clearly I was blue”, she sings.
BENEE – ‘Blu’:
STELLA & STEVE seems to be BENEE, real name, Stella Bennett’s best work yet. Now we can only look forward to what 2020 holds for our next door neighbour.
STELLA & STEVE is out now via Republic/Universal Music Group. Listen here. BENEE will play headline shows in Australia this month, before returning for Laneway Festival in February.