After a hiatus of over five years, Welsh songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Benji Tranter has returned with his debut solo album ‘Songs to Make You Happy’, out now via Pear O’ Legs Records.
With a lo-fi, home-recorded approach, Benji builds the album around stark acoustic guitars and his idiosyncratic voice, with embellishments from a menagerie of instruments, played by Benji and a collection of friends. What emerges is a charming, chaotic collection of vignettes; diary entries, Polaroid snapshots, and notebook poems, with musical nods to influences like Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst and Nick Drake.
Growing up on the Welsh Marches, Benji has released two EPs, while more recently focusing his efforts toward his power-pop trio Ski Lift, who have been featured across BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, BBC Wales and Radio X. He is also a member of psych-folk group The All Night Chemist. Live, he has performed at Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, and supported Tom Robinson.
The album’s first single ‘Satellite’ picked up plays on BBC 6 Music and BBC Wales and has been described as “enchanting” (Fresh on the Net) and “beautifully crafted” (Adam Walton, BBC Wales). New single ‘Speed Camera’ is an infectious acoustic-pop gem that conjures the airy harmonies of Sufjan Stevens and Elliot Smith. The accompanying lyric video captures dash cam footage from drives through gorgeous scenery.