Country : Canada Label : Genres and styles : Bedroom Pop / Indie Pop Year : 2023

Benja – Ivy

· by Varun Swarup

The latest bedroom in the house of indie pop belongs to Benja. The young Torontonian, known for his collaborations with Jonah Yano and K’naan, released a 6 track EP late this March, Ivy, marking his first foray as a singer-songwriter.

Befitting of the bedroom pop vibe, there is personality and levity to Benja’s soundworld. “Slacker,” one of the strongest tracks on Ivy, carries that feeling delightfully in its breezy two and half minutes of length. The song, a natural choice for a first single, exemplifies Benja’s keen ear for catchy hooks and tuneful refrains. The fun low-key vibe is pretty consistent throughout the release with ‘Family Tree’ standing out as the more plaintive cut here. 

Fans of indie pop à la Mac Demarco, Connan Mockasin, Boy Pablo, will find much familiar terrain; jangly guitars, modest jazzy harmonies, retro synth patches, laid-back vocals. If I had to point to any criticism, it might be that this terrain is perhaps all too familiar. In other words, there is not much here that feels especially unique to Benja. Still, for what it is Ivy is a fun and personable release, a promising sign for things to come. 

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