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Liam Benzvi knows New York City better than most: the New York native came of age in the city, where he attended Laguardia High School. His music imbues the white-hot effervescence that comes from growing up a New Yorker; channeling encounters with those you might never see again or meeting the one person who can change your life.  Benzvi has been part of the New York music scene since his days in of-the-moment indie pop outfit Strange Names, but over the years has leaned further into his pop star sensibilities by collaborating with the likes of Dev Hynes & Porches and opening dates with Harry Styles. 

And His Splash Band, Benzvi’s debut for Fat Possum, sees Benzvi fully embrace the role of pop provocateur. Born out of a book he owned with a bunch of covers of glam rock/proto punk bands from 1970s Europe, he imagines the thrill of having a one hit wonder and, in a more modern premise, being an industry plant. Benzvi has a knack for romanticizing everything, even misfortune: “the novelty of a band is so precious and hard to achieve in NYC financially.”  Why not buy into that fantasy? 

Benzvi began work on …And His Splash Band in the summer of 2022. He recorded the majority of the record in Nick Weiss (Nightfeelings)’ studio situated above a sex shop on Santa Monica Boulevard and put the final touches on vocal features at a studio beneath the restaurant Indochine in Soho.. And His Splash Band embodies the frenetic buzz of both cities, and frizzes with the potential of meeting anyone, anytime.  This includes the collection of characters whom Benzvi sourced to comprise “The Splash Band”: friends and acquaintances with no prior musical experience but equipped with the wide-eyed insouciance that comes with being young and beautiful. Liam initially filmed himself playing all the parts on the record, tediously sending the rest of the band videos of every little thing.  They spent hours doing improv building their separate characters into something fully realized. 

Dalgo, a semiretired local hustler, took up music when a longtime client, a lonely widow, was short on cash and settled up by gifting him her dead husband’s vintage guitar. Silas, the group’s oblivion-attuned thereminist and programmer, came into his abilities suddenly, after awakening from an alien abduction, an experience that he likens to learning a language in your sleep. Jet, the Splash Band’s bassist, arrived in New York as an orphan from a war-wrecked post-Soviet nation, with extremely limited documentation and all his traditional values intact. “It had something to do with borders,” Jet attests, dryly. He’s such a flirt!  “Silas brings the brains,” says Benzvi, “Dalgo brings the body. Jet brings the Balkans and the brawn.”

Benzvi has always attracted people to him, and …And His Splash Band highlights his ever-widening circle of creatives, with features from the likes of Ren G of Club Eat, Lecx Stacy, SSION, Aaron Maine of Porches, and Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange.  Even though …And His Splash Band dwells on the push and pull of romantic encounters, it’s also shaped by the comradery of shared experience that comes with coexisting together, and how your interactions with others shape your own identity.  It’s about building a life where you have someone to call in the middle of the night, and taking charge of your own agency.  You’re not getting anywhere without an outsize belief in yourself. 

The record is alight with bursts of serotonin: from the magnetic freewheeling synth pop of openers “Take Care of Me” and “Dust” to the soulful bounce of Hynes-assisted “Other Guys” and more downtempo balladry of “2N4”, the music never loses its sparkle.  …And His Splash Band capitalizes on the thrill of it, even as it becomes more delirious (“Breakdown”).  Benzvi has often spoken about the “emotional coordinates” of his music, perfectly capturing that blip of adrenaline, the sweet spot that sweeps you off your feet.  In a day and age where being an artist is just as much about style as about substance, he’s keen to play the game, on his terms.  He sounds like a genuine star. 

...And His Splash Band arrives September 27th on Fat Possum.

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...And His Splash Band
Ships 09/27/2024
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...And His Splash Band
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