Daily Discovery: In Anthemic Gen-Z Single, Benedict Wants to Be “Anywhere” But Here

Just now starting to come of age, Zoomers are already shaping their own culture as a generation—and one of its key ingredients is a detached yearning for meaning.

Videos by American Songwriter

While the source of this could be any number of things—being raised in the atmosphere of the War on Terror and post-2008 austerity measures, spending pivotal years of their lives in the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing “culture war,” etc—the bottom line is that there’s a significant sense of longing that’s beginning to resonate in the creative products of Gen Z… and a great example of this is Benedict’s wistful new single, “Anywhere.”

With lyrics like “I wanna dye my hair/ Stare at the sky ‘cause I don’t care/ Wonder what it means to have anywhere to be” and “Nothing matters anyways,” there’s an overtone that captures the aforementioned phenomenon. At the same time, the undertone perfectly conveys an undertone of the culture-at-large—not a lot of Zoomers are taking this search for meaning sitting down. If anything, reading between the lines shows that Benedict is actively seeking an antidote to break free of this generational curse.

“‘Anywhere’ is one of those songs that filtered through some form of channel,” he tells American Songwriter. “Maybe it was my guide, writing a letter to myself, but I was so present writing it. It ultimately ended up being about remaining present in situations you don’t feel present in. I want it to just be a permission slip for people to do what they want to do and not take shit from people who don’t know you.”

Fittingly, even beyond the lyrics, the music itself (produced by The Accents) was born out of a uniquely modern circumstance. “The Accents and I linked from our ‘Fans Also Like’ section on Spotify,” Benedict explains. “I noticed they knew a few of my good friends up in Toronto and reached out. They sent over a folder of tracks they had floating around. The bones of ‘Anywhere’ was on a track called ‘Julia.’ I was like, ‘Julia, whoever you are. I am sorry and I love you… but I need to write this song.’”

After that, Benedict gathered his thoughts, added some acoustics (citing Michelle Branch and Taylor Swift as influences there), and made the track his own. Alongside its release (on October 1), the Nashville-based singer-songwriter also unveiled a corresponding music video, which visually captures its themes. 

“I wanted the video to just radiate present energy, like the song does as well,” Benedict said. “Sometimes it feels like you wake up and do the same things over and over, but when the chorus hits it explodes into me just dancing and losing my mind.”

Check out more from Benedict HERE and watch the music video for his new single “Anywhere” below:

Photo courtesy Benedict

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