Gritty rock rhythms and soaring vocals akin to the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden lead us soulfully into the infectious and energising sound of Benjamin Corson’s album Mirage.
This EP of originals celebrates effective, purposeful songwriting – alongside a sheer and uninhibited approach to pure rock passion and captivating guitar play.
Wild and Free makes for an easy early highlight, and a fine example of the strength of melody, poetic concept and organic structure that runs throughout the collection. The rock sound is both familiar and unpredictable – experimental, to a degree, and endlessly interesting as a result. Singer Tim Pitchford nails the delivery, and kicks off the energy of the project with fearless resolve.
On the other side of the coin, however, we also get the more stripped-back stylings – reflective of that songwriting strength more than ever. Benjamin writes from a place of clear intention, and this is highlighted in every case by the pace and weight or simple emotion of each song.
Consider the sultry, mellow intimacy and hypnotic calm of Dolion. Soft rock sentiments connect by bringing the body to a state of peaceful immersion – layers of subtle yet striking electric guitar guide us through almost six minutes of familiar expression, with a choir of breathy female vocals injecting certain delicacy and heart during the central moments; before the latter half explodes into soul rock territories of absolute presence and heart. A live jam with focus and story – the sort of ambient, engaging listen that begs for you to turn up the volume and lose yourself to the intensity of the groove.
To say that Benjamin Corson is far from a one trick pony is something of an understatement. In which case, Mirage is a perfectly titled album. Just listen to You Are A Woman Now as part of the progression – spoken word whispers of personally addressing ideas and poetic images, softly melodic gospel layers from singer Mareenez Degraff. Then the subtle implication of change towards positivity and possibility during the final third; before yet another addictive explosion of soul rock devotion.
The album’s title-track Mirage is another well worth delving into, but the project in full is honestly one that keeps on giving. This song leans towards the romantic side of Half Moon Run in its raspy, passionate vocal lead from Tim – and the again seductive swagger of the arrangement.
Timeless music, in short, and crafted with care – nothing flashy, nothing rushed; a musician committed to the moment, to the art form, and songs that are felt rather than simply performed.