Last updated on September 11, 2017
Benevolus’ “Go” starts off with a bang: a cymbal splash sets off a rhythmic, hypnotizing guitar strum and rumbling percussion. These two elements drive the mood for the whole tune. The percussion sounds like it’s being really hammered out, but with soft mallets: this gives it an earthy, organic sort of feel due to its lack of sharp edges and snapping hits. This unusual percussion choice makes it actually more a feature than the guitar, as the mesmerizing, consistent guitar strum forms a foundation for the drums and the vocals to play around on top of.
Composer Ryan Beppel’s vocals jump in the fray in a dramatic way as well: Beppel multi-tracks his voice to make himself sound like an enthusiastic, energetic choir. His penchant for hollered, punchy exclamations and wordless melodic runs match the wide-open feel of the percussion. Beppel’s work has been likened to Animal Collective crossed with Fleet Foxes, and that’s a totally appropriate call. “Go” is an adventurous, impressive track that really puts a best foot forward. I’m intrigued to hear more by Benevolus; the creative approach to using standard songwriting elements points to the emergence of a unique new songwriting voice.
The video for “Go” is also intriguing–Beppel runs through the streets of a snowy NYC like a modern-day George Bailey, but the ending of the video leaves it a bit uncertain as to his goals and the results of his quest. It’s beautiful to see the Big Apple in all its snowy glory, and you get an interesting little tale along the way.