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Live Review: Introducing 1010 Benja SL with the crushingly beautiful 'Wind Up Space'

13 March 2018 | 7:05 pm | Kyle Fensom

1010 Benja SL's sophomore single, 'Wind Up Space', is a crushingly beautiful introduction to an artist who looks set to become one of 2018's must-watch acts

1010 BENJA SL is an enigmatic singer-songwriter who silently blew up music blogs with last year’s single, the much slept-on ‘Boofiness’. In contrast, Benja’s follow-up, the crushingly beautiful ‘Wind Up Space’, arrives courtesy of the Young Turks label, and introduces him as a must-watch artist for 2018.

Harrowing, empty horns and mutated strings that feel deflated beneath their sadness sweep you away with an abstract, richly emotional, experimental R&B soundscape that feels indebted to FRANK OCEAN’S Blonde and the twisted pop genius of JAI PAUL. The hollowness which pervades the track is offset by the sublime grace of Benja’s intangible vocals, wavering in their emotionality as he pleads: “Please don’t say anything / I need you just to know / That I’m missing your soul.” Towards the end, bold, symphonic strings and a distorted choral backing vocal introduce an operatic grandeur that further underscores the scale of Benja’s hurt here.

It feels like years of insurmountable pain and heartache detailed in fractured lyric vignettes and channelled into a mutilated, three-minute expression of lost love. “Before we lay down / And fall into our very last moments / Before we get so far away / Can we wind up space?”, he urges at the track’s emotional core. It’s an instantly recognisable plea, one last desperate grasp at rewinding time, at recovering the distance lost before the space in-between becomes irreconcilable. On ‘Wind Up Space’, 1010 Benja SL gives that impulse a stunning musical language which will imprint itself upon your consciousness for a long time to come.

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IMAGE via. The Interns