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All Songs Considered Blog
Fri March 30, 2012
Bensh's 'Doubt': This Song Was Made For Walking
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:22 pm
There's a point near the start of Bensh's "Doubt" where lead singer Benjamin Zombori ponders that "Maybe if I keep on walking you won't find out / that I'm so full of doubt." If he really wants to go on his nervous walkabout, he won't have to look far for his soundtrack. Bensh, a trio of Zombori (a.k.a. Bensh), Severin Zoolord and Sion Trevor, has created a great, street-stomping tune. As a drum rhythmically pounds and guitar jangles in time in the background, it's easy to imagine the song accompanying a montage of a movie's main character walking around the big city, figuring his life out. This isn't an "I'm so excited" pavement-pounder, however: It's a worrisome song, filled with uncertainty and, yes, doubt.
The members of Bensh get some healthy cardio in the video for "Doubt." Just as in the song, the video keeps a strong, steady pace as it twists and turns paths into twisted collages of nature and pavement. It's as if the song's inner nervousness is transformed into the quickly shifting world around the band. The video begins with simple straight lines and geometric patterns, but quickly escalates into something out of M.C. Escher's nightmares. What starts out as a straight line through a nice green field turns into what looks like a triangle, a bow tie, a plate of spaghetti and a Rorschach test. Whatever happens, the band keeps walking, uncertain what the future holds:
Zombori explained in an email about how the band found the right person to direct "Doubt":
We got introduced to Lynn Kossler, the video director, by our friend Elias Stabentheiner, who directed the video to our first single "How Come Nao." Lynn really vibed with our song "Doubt" straight away and started developing this great concept where doubt manifests in kaleidoscopic images, fracturing paths and ambiguous perspectives. If Maurits Escher would have directed a music video, it'd probably look like some of the escalator scenes. Patterns emerge, break up, emerge again... Where's the sense and order in all civilization and nature, and ourselves? Can we ever grasp it?
Zoolord (who has the greatest name in anything I've written about since Stormy Leather) described making the video with Kossler:
We shot the video in and around Berlin, Germany, with a super-enthusiastic crew. It took us a while to get the balance between nature scenes and urban shots right, and there was a lot of cruising around involved. Just like the lyrics to the song, the video can be seen and understood in more than one meaningful way. Personally, I'm most drawn to the contrast of geometry and chaos, and to the states of mind these things portray. In a way, the clip is probably similar to our CD artwork of Clues... All these visuals don't just illustrate; they actively reflect on what's happening in the music and words.
You can stream and buy Bensh's debut album, Clues, on the band's Bandcamp page.