Donny Benet pays tribute to post-disco and love on ‘Santorini’
One of my favourite things in writing about music is when I get thrown a curve-ball. Sometimes it’s hearing an artist or a sound I knew nothing about and falling in love. Other times, it’s hearing a song like Donny Benet‘s ‘Santorini’, watching the accompanying video, and having my brain crash like opening up too many programs on dad’s Windows98 desktop.
Described as an ‘adult entertainer, attentive lover and hit maker’, Donny Benet is a Sydney solo artist who is very loved across the country, and is on the verge of finally releasing his debut album, aptly named The Don, due out in April. His bread-and-butter is throwback, disco-tinged synthpop that takes a romantic lens to look lovingly back at a by-gone era. ‘Santorini’ is the latest tease from The Don, and a perfect thesis statement to Donny Benet‘s craft.
While almost every aspect of Donny‘s art makes me uncomfortable, I’ll be damned if he can’t write a good tune. ‘Santorini’ sounds like a track you’d hear on Smooth FM at 2am while you sober up in an Uber. You remember parts of it the next day, but you can’t remember if it’s dream or a flashback to when you took acid and watched Miami Vice. What I mean is, Donny Benet has done a phenomenal job of capturing 80s cheese and transposing it to modern production, almost to the point that my brain keeps wanting there to be tape hiss or vinyl crackle; something to ground it in decades past. Self-professed relationship guru, Benet has a history of helping those in romantic need through his songs, and once again we have an example of how to mend a broken relationship – by heading to Santorini.
The video accompaniment (directed by Jim Pillion) is even cornier. Oozing more cheese than a New York pizza, Donny himself dances on a beach; sometimes in a pantsuit, sometimes in a leisure suit, and always giving me way too much eye contact. Shots range from Donny looking longingly over the sea, or a random couple jet-skiing inexplicably. A testament to the creativity of Donny and the director, the video does a great job in playing up the uncomfortable anachronistic vibe of the track, all the while having a joke at its own expense. I think that’s whats most appealing about ‘Santorini’ and Donny Benet‘s craft – not only is it a genuinely catchy, its just plain fun.
The Don is out April 6th via Dot Dash. Feel the love and catch him on tour:
SAT 7 APRIL – THE ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, PERTH
IMAGE BY WILK
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS