Premiere: Charlotte Rose Benjamin Shares New Single “satisfied” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, February 28th, 2024  

Premiere: Charlotte Rose Benjamin Shares New Single “satisfied”

Announces Debut Album Dreamtina Due Out April 22nd

Feb 24, 2022 Photography by Roeg Cohen
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Later this spring, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Charlotte Rose Benjamin is set to put her own insecurities under the microscope with her upcoming debut album, Dreamtina. Arriving after her debut 2020 EP Party City, Benjamin crafted her follow-up in true independent style. She’s set to release it without a label and worked exclusively with bandmates Matti Dunietz, Nardo Ochoa, and Zoe Zeeman to craft the sticky ‘90s garage rock hooks that underpin her debut.

“Dreamtina is the beautiful girl with the cool outfit you see on the subway or at a coffee shop,” Benjamin explains, “she’s my cross to bear and my altar ego.” She continues, saying “The ‘Dreamtina’ concept is kind of a study on wanting to be desirable. I’ve never felt like the cool girl at the party. As far as I’m concerned, romantic love is the most important and exciting thing in the entire world. I still feel like a teenager in that way.”

Last year, Benjamin returned with “deep cut” and “Cumbie’s Parking Lot,” the first singles from the record. Today, along with announcing the upcoming album, Benjamin has also shared her latest single, “satisfied,” premiering with Under the Radar.

Benjamin’s latest single sees her unpacking a failed romance in painstaking and hilarious detail, diving into an unfortunate encounter at a house show. As she explains, “I was really into this boy I had just started seeing, I was sure he was about to be my boyfriend. I invited him to this house party in Bushwick that my band was playing at and two days before the show he broke up with me. Then he showed up to my show accidentally! He genuinely didn’t see the poster and thought he was just going to a house party. It was so funny and sad and stupid I had to make it a song.”

On one front, “satisfied” is a winking play-by-play of the night’s events, offering a confessional look into Benjamin’s heartbreak soundtracked by ramshackle acoustic guitar and raw unadorned vocals. However, with the chorus, the track gets launched into the stratosphere. Throttling distorted guitar diverts the track into an irresistible power pop hook, paired with instantly quotable lyrics (“I hope you’re satisfied / I hope you’re doing fine / I hope you want to die every time I look beautiful online”). Meanwhile, the accompanying video keeps up Benjamin’s DIY streak, playing out the lyrics with a paper-mâché puppet show.

Check out the song and video below. You can also read our Q&A with Charlotte Rose Benjamin where she dives into the song and record’s inspirations. Dreamtina is due out everywhere on April 22nd.

Congratulations on announcing your debut album today. What kind of thematic inspirations did you draw from when writing Dreamtina? Did you write the songs recently or have you been sitting on some of them for a while?

Thank you!!! I never start writing with concepts in mind, I just write about how I’m feeling in the moment. Usually, a theme doesn’t present itself until something is finished. All of the songs follow this motif of wanting to be somebody else or feeling insecure and just wanting to be saved. “Dreamtina” became this fictional alter ego of who I wanted to be. She’s like a flawless version of myself.

All the songs were written in the last year or so except “Louis” which is almost four years old and was originally a waltz with arpeggiated piano underneath. That was the first song I brought to the band to record and it was their idea to change the tempo. It really set the tone for what our sound would be together and I love that it opens the record. I was still writing “Hayden Panettiere” and “Friend” the week we started recording.

I also saw you recently sat down for a Paste session and previewed some songs from the album. How was that experience and how was the reception to the tracks?

So fun! I’ve spent a lot of time on youtube watching my favorite artist’s Paste sessions, it was such an honor to be asked to do one. We’ve been playing songs from the album at the live shows for a while and the reception has been great. “Satisfied” is probably the most fun to play live.

How would you say you’ve evolved artistically since your 2020 EP, Party City?

I’ve always wanted to be as honest and vulnerable as I am being in this record but I never had the guts to. “Satisfied” is probably the scariest song I’ve ever released because it’s so specific. Meeting Matti Dunietz and Bernardo Ochoa was also huge for me artistically. I was working alone with producers when I made Party City and being able to record with my friends this time was so freeing. I think I tapped into something with Dreamtina I hadn’t realized yet on Party City. I feel like I’m only just starting to find my sound.

What is your writing process like? What inspires you to create?

It starts with an idea I’ll get on a walk or on a plane or something. Or maybe I’ll read something or hear a line in a movie that I like that sparks an idea. I write it in my notes app and then once I have material to play with I have to force myself to sit down with a guitar and put it together. It’s so fun once I get going but picking up the guitar can feel daunting. That’s where I’m at right now. I’ve been in this “collecting” phase for a really long time and I’m feeling pressure to write again.

The lyrics are a real highlight of your music, with a lot of witty and quotable lines. Is that something you try to cultivate intentionally or do they simply come to you naturally?

The lyrics are the most important part for me. Sometimes I have a feeling and feel totally alone in that feeling because I’ve never quite heard it expressed before. My goal is just to document those moments exactly how they are because if other people connect to them, I know I’m not crazy. Music has saved my life that way so many times. I guess I use humor as a mechanism to not seem so self-indulgent, I also think sprinkles of humor make sad songs even sadder somehow. But I’m never going into writing a song like, “ok, how do I make this funny?” The witty lines are usually ones I’ve been saving for a while. It’s just what I’m drawn to.

I’m also loving the new video for “satisfied.” What was the creative process behind the video like? Where did the idea for the paper-mâché puppets come from?

Thank you! The song is so literal and psycho I needed the video to be too. I have to credit the band Ultra-Flex because they did something really similar with their “Man U Sheets” video and I stole their puppet idea. My 17-year-old brother, Sam, is a genius. He designed the puppets with fishing wire and straws and figured out how to make them smoke cigarettes and move their arms. We spent about 10 days straight at my parents’ house making tiny props out of clay and paper-mâché. Everything is hot glue gunned together, it was a fucking mess. I almost gave up like four times but Sam kept me going!

Do you have any plans to tour for the new album?

I just started working with an amazing team at High Road Touring so hopefully, we’ll be hitting the road soon! I’m dying to tour.


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