Listen to the Benji Hughes album streaming now on NPR Music!

January 25, 2016
Soleil Konkel

Soleil Konkel

Listen to the Benji Hughes album streaming now
on NPR Music!

He’s got the sunny haze of AM pop down, but he also boasts the acumen of singer-songwriters like Randy Newman and Warren Zevon, with the humor of Nilsson thrown in.”  NPR Music 

NPR Music are streaming the forthcoming Benji Hughes album Songs in the Key of Animals ahead of it’s release on Merge Records on the 5th February.

Listen to it now on NPR Music
North Carolina’s Benji Hughes fronted a rock band in the nineties. He’s written commercial jingles (“Got a Little Captain in You?” for Captain Morgan rum); he’s made music for film and television (Walk Hard, Eastbound & Down) and he’s released 2008’s A Love Extreme, his excellent double-LP debut record.  But these ventures aren’t different hats Hughes wears. They’re not different paths travelled. This is Hughes playing in different keys.

Now, for his first full-length on Merge, Benji Hughes is playing Songs in the Key of Animals.Recorded over two years with Hughes playing most of the instruments himself, the record is 41 minutes of pop-music exploration.

The album has a summertime immediacy but an evergreen resonance (see “Longshot”). It’s clever but too deep for punchlines (check the excellent back and forth of “Picnic”). It is sincere (“Girls Love Shoes”) yet heartbreaking (“Song for Nancy”).  It’s eccentric but never forced in its strangeness. It’s the kind of record that reminds us music can be fun without being empty.

Listen to NPR’s rock critic, Ken Tucker, review the album on ‘Fresh Air’ HERE


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