New Music Rundown: Benedikt/CFCF/Dave

Balcony Dream

Benedikt is a 9-piece indie folk orchestra based out of the city of Oslo, Norway. Originally the solo project of Hans Olav Settem, over time it was able to grow in size and popularity while maintaining an intimate feel. Their newest, Balcony Dream, is an interesting cross-section of emotionally-charged lyrics and metaphors complemented by whimsical instruments common among folk music, like banjos and cellos. It’s music that would be played during a funeral procession for Keebler elves. Which is a compliment. I think. In all seriousness, this is a really well-made folk album to show your parents or keep for yourself.


I can’t really talk about CFCF’s new album memoryland without seeming pretentious. I wasn’t even born at the turn of the century, so trying to relate this album to others around that time would be fruitless at best and embarrassing at worst. What I will say is that this album captures the essence in the revival of Y2K culture, something I do know a little about. Lots will point to the “posers” on apps like Depop and Instagram, but there’s a deep underlying appreciation for a culture that was once labeled a fad.

CFCF is one of those very talented individuals who has evidently taken an appreciation for the culture and time in the U.K. He mixes old and new, fast and slow, and moments of silence cut by sharp breakbeats. Is it as revolutionary as it was in the Y2K era? No. But it’s a nice homage and a real beacon of appreciation.

Titanium & Mercury

The second you put in a Dave song, you know it’s a Dave song. He speaks for himself and he does it well. The London-born grime artist released his duo of songs, Titanium & Mercury, as the B-sides to his long-awaited next album, but they certainly don’t feel like B-sides. It seems like every Dave song hits harder than the last one, with his cold and calculated delivery evident on Titanium and a slower, more conversational tone on Mercury.

Every lyric seems polished, edited, and delivered like a good actor delivering a heartfelt line of dialogue. Which is fitting, considering he stars in Netflix’s TV show Top Boy. While on the subject of lyrics, Dave is among elite talent. Not to make unjust comparisons, but some lines give me the same impressions I get from listening to Kanye West’s lyrics. That feeling of, “how the hell did he just make that work?” is a constant reaction to both.