In his new single, the artist reflects back on his old music
The other day, I was searching through one of the plastic storage bins full of random stuff (literally labeled RANDOM STUFF) shoved under my bed, looking for batteries or band-aids or god knows what else, when I stumbled upon a journal from circa 2017, at which point I had no choice but to spy on my past self…
And damn, that shit is embarrassing!!!!!
Just kidding (sort of). Really though, it’s nothing short of surreal to be instantly transported back to a different phase of life and totally re-immersed in the intense emotions you were experiencing at the time. To recall old hopes and old flames, the people and things and opportunities you were excited about or upset over or totally obsessed with. Years later, you might stand by a few of the feelings, ideas and beliefs. Others… well, let’s just say I made my roommates swear that if anything ever happened to me, they’d burn every single page (and then dump the ashes in the East River… just in case).
While I’m not an artist, I imagine this cocktail of feelings—a mix of nostalgia, amusement, affection, etc. etc.—isn’t totally unlike the experience one might have looking, or listening, back at songs they wrote years before. Because rather than hide their thoughts and feelings in turquoise jorunals buried under mystery charging cords and old shampoo samples, musicians do all of us the major selfless service of transforming their insides into art, with albums serving as true time capsules documenting a period of time in the life of an individual and the passions, problems and perspectives that defined it—
But, for the record, in far more cool, creative and enjoyable-to-others form.
And with that diary entry on diaries, I’m thrilled to present a song that explores this very concept of looking back on the artistic expression of a personal era with the premiere of “Record Jacket”—the rad brand-new single from artist Eric Benoit!
Ahead of the release, Eric—who you might know from big BdBK fave, Little Sun—shared the story behind the song with me over email:
“I was thinking about my old music, why I created it and what it’s worth to me now that much of it feels so distant. These feelings coalesced into ‘Record Jacket,’ which is a chill synth-pop tune about putting on my old records and hearing them for what they are – flawed but honest representations of particular points in my life. Is nostalgia worthwhile? Is my old music any good? Well, yes, I think so. I’m always too hard on myself and sometimes only see the flaws in whatever I make. But I gotta remind myself that even when something isn’t perfect, it can still be made of gold.”
“Record Jacket” is the first single off Eric’s forthcoming fourth album Spectacular Flameout, which is “about how we fail and what motivates us to keep going anyway.” (Love, love, love that.)
I recommend starting your day by giving “Record Jacket” (followed by the entirety of Eric’s catalogue) a spin(s) and use it as a reminder and inspiration to—whether we’re making music or just recording memories, transforming our real life into real art or whipping out our best Bics to bitch about some Tinder bro we def won’t remember in six months (HYPOTHETICALLY)—cut ourselves, past and present, a little slack…
And hope in a few weeks, months or years, our future selves will be kind enough to do the same.
Feature image provided by the artist.