Sunday, 23 September 2012

New To The Scene - Breaking Hart Benton

Breaking Hart Benton
by Jo Michelmore


Perhaps it was some kind of fate or maybe it was just pure luck that I walked into a bar last week and happened to run into a friend who convinced me to stay and watch some bands, but either way I’m so glad the gods of music smiled on me once again and introduced me to the wonderful Breaking Hart Benton.

The name should probably be the first hint that this is music that’s going to be emotional, sometimes fun, sometimes tear inducing but always heartfelt. They call themselves indie/folk but there’s a little more to it than that. Somehow Michael David and Lee James make music with history, it sounds like it could be right at home in a cosy Irish or eastern American pub 100 years ago and yet it’s also right at home in a dark little Brisbane bar in 2012. Just a combination of guitar and banjo, fiddle, vocals and some serious foot stomping, Breaking Hart Benton manage to transport me to places I don’t even know, through stories I’ve never imagined before, about characters I’ve never met but have fallen in love with immediately.

Everybody's Lonesome by Breaking Hart Benton

Although I saw a stripped back band on Friday night, it seems things get even better when Michael and Lee are joined by sometimes band members Alice McDowell (who I was lucky enough to see for a couple of songs on Friday night) and Shani Forrester; whose vocals on ‘Everybody’s Lonesome’ are eerily beautiful and create a song that insists on being played over and over. The lyrics on ‘Gilding Lilies’ are exquisite, doing that thing that amazing music does, making the listener question, well, almost life in it’s entirety ; “when you find what you’re looking for, you got it all but you still want more, well I found my treasure in the valley of sin, but I wasn’t satisfied with everything”. ‘Grandfathers Hands’ is a story that sounds like it needs to be told, it’s a tale that could be played for years and years, completely timeless. Their self-titled EP is introspective but not self-indulgent; it’s sometimes heart breaking but hopeful, it’s raw and unpolished yet so well thought and that’s what makes it refreshing all the same.

Blind River by Breaking Hart Benton

Breaking Hart Benton make beautiful music that doesn’t need an amp, doesn’t need auto tuning and doesn’t need much except a big heart to sing and a big heart to listen to. This is a band that seems like they need to travel, to share their stories; they need to share their incredible talent for playing live music and making their audience feel a part of those stories.

Sometimes fate does you favours, like it did for me last week. If it happens to take you on a walk to a bar where they are playing or to a website where you can discover more, don’t ignore it. Here’s fate, on this blog, right now, telling you who this fabulous little folk band are. Let it take you to another place far away and lose yourself in the splendour that is Breaking Hart Benton for a little while.

Read more:

Official Site
JJJ Unearthed

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