[Album of the Month] BENJAMIN SHAW - "Megadead"


Benjamin Shaw - "Megadead"

(Audio Antihero)

"Ive' got things to talk about/ I've got hell to pay" - Benjamin Shaw

Megadead may be the name  of the latest release from lo-fi indie pop artist Benjamin Shaw, but don't let the morbid name fool you. There is a lot of vulnerable, depressing shoegaze to behold here, but there is also a lot of light and hope. This is certainly one of those occasions where the cover art perfectly fits the content. Sure, there's a skeleton - but look at all that glorious daylight streaming through the window!

The production of this album blends found sounds, field recordings, and carefully executed lo-fi, indie pop songwriting to create a varied listening experience propelled by interest and sustained by detail. Much of the release feels instrumental and ambient, a sound collage of answering machine tapes, and clips of old radio broadcasts, synth compositions, and occasional inward-looking, lonely lyrics delivered by Shaw.  

Benjamin Shaw is a poignant songwriter, who favors a straight-forward exploration of personal feelings over storytelling, or metaphorical meanderings. I have recently decribed his past works as "depression rock," which was said partly in jest - but it actually fits those works pretty well. In this release, however, we see Benjamin flexing his artistic muscle, with heartfelt writings that address homesickness, boredom, weariness, loneliness and a variety of other very human feelings, all with a lightly morose and sometimes humorous air. 

Overall the subtleties and depth of Megadead superseded my expectations of what it was going to be, and I recommend you take a listen when you get a chance. It's definitely Benjamin Shaw's best release to date.  

Gray Lee

B E G O T T E N - "Hushwave"

B e g o t t e n - "Hushwave"

(Geometric Lullaby)

Smooth, dreamy vapes from waver, Begotten, will transport you to a place where dead pop stars sing forever in a foggy purgatory. 

With an entertaining focus on dreadful spookiness, this release is like finding the perfect Halloween decoration on clearance long after the holiday has passed. My favorite track on here is "Hidden," which has a super fun suprise at the end. 

Lots of gleaming, skating rink style jams here with just the perfect mix of vintage vapor velvet and skeleton fashions. All await you in this fine, upstanding creepshow known as Hushwave

Gray Lee