BENEE is the dreamy voice of a disaffected generation who broke through in 2020 with “Superlonely”, her irresistible, four billion streaming alt-pop banger that practically defined the pandemic experience. Twenty-two-year-old Stella Bennett mixes her deeply heartfelt reflections on life in suburban Auckland, New Zealand with offbeat and often whimsical lyrical notions, all produced with a technicolour ear for cooked beats and unpredictable hooks.
A fervent online following were drawn to BENEE’s two intriguing EP releases, FIRE ON MARZ and STELLA & STEVE, before her guest-packed, yet high personal, Hey u x album was released at the tail end of 2020. The album 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 by impeccably produced pop music” and Vogue called it “13 tracks of heavenly indie-alt-pop”.
A year on, BENEE returns with her 2022 Lychee EP, with her song “Doesn’t Matter” revealing the singer’s journey through the emotional clatter of 2021. The EP release leads into plans for 2022 with the thing that excites Bennett most, a hefty touring schedule. Expect the world to be ready and waiting for her.