First published on 5 Sep 2012. Updated on 16 Sep 2012.
Ladies, Donny Benet wants to be your loverman. He made that very clear on his debut album, last year’s discotastic Don’t Hold Back (lead by awesome single ‘Sophisticated Lover’) and Sydney’s smoothest, sophisticatedest, tonguest-in-cheekest master of sassy electronic 80s pop is staying on-message with album number two, Electric Love.
“There was a continuation but they’re two different creatures that are the same, if that makes sense,” he explains, sort of. “The process of Electric Love was – pardon the pun - more sophisticated than Don’t Hold Back as I guess sonically, it’s a huge change from. The recording and writing process had a bit more time and love put in to it. There were a hell of lot of synthesisers and drum machines. Sonically it’s a lot better than the first one.”
It also benefited from Donny being more of a known quantity this time around. “The strength of putting out the first album and touring was seeing how things work on the road, with audiences’ reactions. So I was lucky to have done a few gigs, like at the Sydney and Adelaide festivals. They were all closing sets so they were often starting at midnight, so people were willing to get down.
“I could take the new tracks and gauge their reactions and what they liked. You obviously are recording the songs you want but also finding the beautiful balance by seeing the sure-fire winners and what you want to do over and over again in that element.”
One of the album’s highlights is ‘Julia’, which is Benet’s slinky-yet-sincere ode to Julia Wilson, boss of his label Rice is Nice (which is also home to the likes of Seakae, the Laurels, Good Heavens and Richard In Your Mind). The song began life as a birthday present before getting a polish for the album.
“She is the world’s easiest and coolest person to work with,” he gushes. “She’ll bend over backwards for people and that’s well reciprocated within the music family. It’s a really cool thing to be involved with people that are really passionate and have conviction in what they do.”