Zach Benson releases 26 minutes and 38 seconds of sheer pop delightfulness on his freshly dropped album hopeless, romantic. The NYC based singer, producer and songwriter describes the album as “a love story. It’s a tale of falling out of love and then falling back in love again,” and the artist successfully manages to capture this narrative across the eight tracks showcasing a variety of original and invigorating musical soundscapes. We’ve broken the album down below:
when u leave is a gorgeous piano-lead heartbreak ballad centred on the prospect of the end of a relationship. Zach’s vocals sound rich and heartfelt against the stunning piano melodies, with production mounting throughout as he ponders scenarios of how life will be post-relationship with relatable lines such as: “When you leave, will I still see you around, if we meet, do I say hi or stare at the ground?”
Production ramps up for the attitude-filled everything reminds me of u which packs a punky edge in the repeated titular line. Progressing the story established in the previous track, Zach’s production is buoyant with shimmering electronic beats on this big, floorfilling heartbreak anthem where the musician recounts the many things that trigger memories of a past relationship flooding in. At the 2:10 mark, the production verges onto euphoric electropop levels, helping the track shine as a heartbreak anthem that compels you to dance.
With echoes of Annie and The Chromatics, pretty boy an intimate synth-anthem transports us to broody neon-lit night-time scenes as Zach sings of a handsome new suitor. “I’d like to whisper your name, come take my hand let’s run away, it’s time for some fun today,” the artist croons against mellow, electronic synths on the atmospheric, romantic track. Adi Wineland co-writes with a vocal mix by Lexington Bowler.
kitchen is a wistful, seductive track that packs a sultry nu-disco vibe, as Zach soulfully sings “want you to kiss me in the kitchen, want you to take me on the table top, want you to give me everything you got.” There are echoes of Daft Punk in some of the vocal effects which showcase a further sense of variety on the album.
Listeners may already have heard mischief! with fellow queer heartthrob Gregory Dillon. The track is a breezy Summer gem: upbeat, nostalgic, and filled with catchy hooks. mischief!’s bouncing electronic production and the smooth vocals of Zach and Gregory help craft a seamless pop experience from start to finish. Zach notes: “Greg and I wrote mischief! about our memories of sneaking out back in high school, driving around with our friends and getting into good trouble.”
The dancefloor calls for the hook-filled electronic delight new year’s eve – a punchy two minute three second bop which compares a new love to the the beauty of a NYE firework display as Zach sings: “You light me up like fireworks on New Year’s Eve.”
With sparkling, mellow pop production, always want you closer, the penultimate track – a woozy romantic pleasure. Zach notes: “I’ve had so much fun working on these tracks over the last year-and-a-half and I really hope that anyone who listens feels inspired to get mushy with the people that they love.” This is evident on always want you closer, a real loved-up pop treat.
Closing with staying home, one of hopeless romantic.’s most vulnerable and raw moments, beginning with sparse production before mounting to a dramatic mid-tempo beat as Zach sings about the cycle of falling in and out of love, thematically taking the album full circle. The track boasts some of Zach’s most ambitious production with complex arrangements and vocal effects coming into play in the final act.
It’s a real pleasure to listen to such an impressive body of work from an innovative and engaging queer talent like Zach. You can stream the album here. Connect with Zach below: