Marco Benevento, Superhuman Happiness

Marco Benevento

For more than a decade Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive résumé of composition
and collaboration, sparking the interest of a seemingly endless list of acclaimed musicians, including
Carl Newman, Mark Eitzel and Matt Chamberlain, all leading to collaborative efforts along the way.
Benevento’s latest album, TigerFace, out now on The Royal Potato Family, was recorded and mixed
by Tom Biller (Silversun Pickups, Elliot Smith, Fiona Apple) and Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Antony &
The Johnsons, Akron/Family). His fourth studio recording to date, it represents Benevento’s next
step in the exploration and evolution of his precise yet freewheeling piano-driven songs. Over the
course of the ten-track effort, the pianist incorporates a myriad of sonic color and melody, while
calling upon musicians like drummers Matt Chamberlain (Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell), John
McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea & The Cake) and Andrew Barr (The Barr Brothers), bassists Dave
Dreiwitz (Ween), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) and Mike Gordon (Phish), violinist Ali
Helnwein (Traction Avenue Chamber Orchestra) and saxophonist Stuart Bogie (Antibalas,
Superhuman Happiness). For the first time, Benevento uses vocals, inviting Kalmia Traver
(Rubblebucket) to sing on two tracks.
“This man is really on to something special,” says Traver, describing the recording process as “a blast
of yes-wave amazing fun energy–there were no ‘NOs,’ only lots of laughter, belting and joyousness.”
Benevento’s previous releases, Between the Needle and Nightfall [2010], Me Not Me [2009] and Invisible
Baby [2008] have reached critical acclaim from the likes of NPR, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles
Times and Relix. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke described his music as, “deceptively rich, catchy
melodies and straight-ahead grooves that expand with subtle mounting gestures.”
In addition to leading a successful career as a solo artist, heavy attention has also been given to his
group projects like Garage A Trois, Surprise Me Mr. Davis and The Benevento-Russo Duo.
As his vision for experimental modern piano rock in the 21st century expands, Benevento shows a
different side of himself on TigerFace.
“I blindly and fearlessly opened up some doors to different sounds on my record during the course of
two years,” Benevento explains. “TigerFace is the beginnings of a new, more melody driven sound
with the focus on the impact of the song from start to finish.”

Superhuman Happiness

Movement becomes contagious listening to Superhuman Happiness whose sound has been dubbed "physical cinematic dance rock." The relentlessly creative band rides the yes wave on their debut LP entitled 'Hands' due in March from indie label The Royal Potato Family. It's a recording that runs the gamut from celebratory syncopated handclaps ("Our Favorite Part") to the coronation grandeur of church bells ("Second Heart"), from art-pop dance beats ("See Me On My Way") to math rock angularity ("Half Step Grind"). The lyrics to Superhuman Happiness songs come at you in a flurry of pop sensibility, but lean metaphysical, peppered amid the vastness of cinematic layers of instrumentation. Guitarists Luke O'Malley and Ryan Ferreira trade highlife picking and revving power chords as Nikhil Yerawadekar's ropey bass lines weave and bob through the pulsing beats issued from Miles Arntzen's drum kit. Waves of sound issue from Jared Samuel's array of analog keyboards and lush accents and colors from Eric Biondo's playful harmonies. Stuart Bogie's horns, abetted by long-time collaborator Colin Stetson, round out Hands' multi-dimensional sound.

Superhuman Happiness became known in Brooklyn for ecstatic dance parties at the famed club Zebulon where they'd often improvise extended versions of their songs. The band's reputation further grew upon touring nationally with artists like Rubblebucket, Marco Benevento, Sinkane and Red Baraat. Prior to recording 'Hands,' Superhuman Happiness released an EP and a series of 7-inch singles. They wrote and performed, with the accompaniment of Kronos Quartet, the score to the acclaimed documentary film, 'How To Survive A Plague.' Other highlights include collaborating with Cults on the 'Red, Hot & Rio 2' compilation. Its members are all key NYC players with a collective resume that stretches across a dizzying array of talent, including Antibalas, Phenomenal Handclap Band, TV On The Radio, Iron & Wine, Tuneyards and Martha Wainwright among numerous others. It's together, however, where their individual voices coalesce into one shared vision. As 'Hands' so eloquently expresses, this is music striving for Superhuman Happiness.



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