After a hiatus of over five years, Welsh songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Benji Tranter returns with debut solo album ‘Songs to Make You Happy’, coming out 20th January on 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). Second single ‘To Your Eyes’, written on NYE 2020, is stripped right back to just Benji and his guitar. About the song, Benji says “I find this time of year truly magical, a time to slow down and take stock, to hibernate, away from the busyness of the world, the anxiety of social media. I’ve had a few occasions where songs will come to me around New Year’s Eve, but this one stuck and I’m very fond of it. It’s about shaking off my jaded world view (briefly), appreciating what I have, and choosing, or at least intending to choose love, kindness, and hope.”