BENEE returns with her first new music of 2022, a single entitled “Beach Boy” via Republic Records.
The song is produced by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Beck) and arrives alongside the announcement of her forthcoming EP LYCHEE out March 4th, 2022.
“Beach Boy” sets BENEE in her breeziest form to date. A sweetly toned vocal and dreamy guitars evoke sixties beach movies, sun kissed summer days, and perfect beach dates.
BENEE says: “‘Beach Boy’ is pure fantasy, set in LA. It’s about being happy alone, but still wanting some love; wanting the thrill without the pain. It was the first time I’d worked with Greg Kurstin, and it was so sick…we got on super well, and I love this track… I think it is perfect for cruising down the freeway with the top down :)”
BENEE headed out of lockdown in her New Zealand home to work on sessions in LA, which formed the basis of a new set of music she says is coming from a “great creative space” despite the pressures of what has been “the craziest time in all our lives.”
The LYCHEE EP features tracks penned with Greg Kurstin, Kenny Beats, and Rostam in LA. Back in New Zealand, she finished up three tracks with her regular collaborator Josh Fountain, including the already-released “Doesn’t Matter,” which has gathered over 5 million Spotify streams and 300K YouTube views on the music video (co-directed by BENEE).
Billboard raved, “Benee’s talents as a vocalist and lyricist shine through.” Meanwhile, Stereogum noted, “the song isn’t about feeling mellow, instead it’s all about attempting to cope with mental health issues.” PAPER described it as “more emotive and pensive.” V Magazine also claimed, “She uses her best asset, her extremely evocative and ethereal vocals, to great effect here over a steady drum-and-guitar melody.” OnesToWatch praised it as “an unfiltered, heartfelt look at ‘invisible’ mental health disorders.”
Due to ongoing gathering restrictions in NZ as a result of the Omicron outbreak, BENEE announced earlier in the week that the Aotearoa leg of her world tour would unfortunately be cancelled:
“COVID SUCKS. I’ve been waiting so long to come and play for you… especially those in the smaller places who just don’t get to see enough live music. With Omicron now out there in our communities, it looks like the red light will be on for some time. This makes touring impossible. I promise that I will tour again, all around Aotearoa, as soon as I know that I am able to do so safely. SO we’ll cancel for now, reset and come back better and stronger. Kia kaha ”
The tour will instead kick off in Australia on March 18th, 2022 followed by dates across North America and Europe. BENEE was also recently announced on the 2022 Gov Ball lineup on Saturday, June 11th, 2022.
The 22-year-old broke through with “Supalonely,” her global hit with 4 billion streams, and like many artists has had to wait for a chance to tour outside of her home country again. This year’s tour will be BENEE’s first return to the international stage and finds her playing her first-ever US festival with Bonnaroo on her summer schedule.
BENEE’s dreamy alt-pop mixes her deeply heartfelt reflections on life in suburban Auckland, New Zealand with offbeat and often whimsical lyrical twists, all produced with a technicolor ear for cooked beats and unpredictable hooks.
2020’s debut album Hey u x was a vibrant musical world with guests ranging from Grimes and Lily Allen to Gus Dapperton and Muroki (another New Zealand teen BENEE has since signed to her own label, Olive). It was listed as one of Billboard’s “25 Best Pop Albums of 2020,” noting that BENEE “contemplates the woes of Gen Z with a keen ear for choruses and arrangements that oscillate between indie rock and hyperpop.”
Stereogum praised its “quirky but impeccably produced pop music” and Vogue called it “13 tracks of heavenly indie-alt-pop.”