Ever since BENEE dominated the airwaves with monsterhit “Supalonely,” artists have been eager to work with the multi-platinum New Zealand star. Contrary to what his artist name may suggest, Nashville singer-songwriter Dreamer Boy made his dreams a reality with BENEE featuring on his new track “ARE YOU LETTING GO.”
The track, out now via slowplay/Harvest Records, demonstrates a more delicate tone for Dreamer Boy. Born Zach Taylor, the artist released his second album in April this year, which took on a much more bedroom indie-pop approach. In this new era, it’s clear Taylor is happy to continue to explore and experiment with his music. Surrounded by guitar dissonance and some dizzying vocal effects, the song sees BENEE join in later for the chorus and verses, almost echoing a response to Taylor. Interestingly, even when using high-tempo synths and electric guitar, the song still somehow manages to feel intimate — and that’s all down to the artists involved. In fact, Taylor makes smart use of the electronic effects, as they only further emphasize the intent of the track by highlighting ideas of distortion and disconnection.
Speaking to EUPHORIA., Taylor explains, “This song is about going through a confusing time with someone you love, you aren’t close enough at that time to truly know where they are at, or how they feel, but you are reaching out to find out.”
The song functions as a sort of smoke signal or SOS, he adds. “Sometimes the only communication you have with that person is not clear and leaves you hoping or longing. With this song, I wanted to express that unfamiliar and bewildering place of love, of not knowing, and the uncertainty of how the other person is feeling.”
In a way, the track is both a smoke signal, as well as a smoke screen. It allows Taylor to transform and shape-shift — reinvent himself as an artist with each release. BENEE is no stranger to this process. While most people may only know her from “Supalonely,” it’s songs like “Happen to Me” that show off her indie and experimental soundscape. The latter track was also what got Dreamer Boy thinking of asking BENEE to feature on his own song.
“I have loved her vocal delivery and writing for some time now and her song ‘Happen to Me’ really inspired me to reach out and ask her to join me on this song,” he says. “I am so happy to share this little heartbreaker with the world and so cool to have BENEE be a part of it. It shows that there is someone else and she gives the other side of the story in some ways.”
He adds that the feature was entirely BENEE’s choice in the end. “I sent it to her as well as a few other songs and she immediately gravitated towards ‘ARE YOU LETTING GO?’ Once I heard her voice on the song I knew it was perfect. We got to perform the song together in LA, which was wild, the crowd was moshing and it really cemented one of most meaningful collaborations of my career so far.”
If you’re feeling like having a low-key angst-filled rave moment that captures the utterly bewildering experience of heartbreak, and still feels intimate, listen to “ARE YOU LETTING GO?” now.