Local Listen — Benton Crane Then, Now and an Organic Future

From the beginning of this year until its impending end, singer-songwriter Benton Crane’s plan to ceaselessly and organically create and offer new music to the world has gone off without a hitch. In February of this year, the first slew of releases wrapped up with the song “Do They Know?” and its accompanying music video. Following that successful project, Crane has kept himself in a “creative incubation period” with a primary focus on writing and recording new music. Making a conscious effort to steer away from the self-pressurization that can oftentimes overtake working artists, he’s chosen to let the music flow freely and formulate organically, with the result being another eight new songs this year so far.

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Benton Crane

While it can be a challenge to not slip into the mindset of wanting to force the creative process, Crane has decided to look at that process instead as “a delicate gift that graces me as it wishes.” He reflected that “when I am feeling the presence of that creative muse, I do my best to capture it before it passes,” with the final outcome usually being the very best versions of his songs. He regards each of these latest eight (and counting) finished songs as “its own creation, its own little world to dive into and swim around in” — an intention that will only be maximized with each song’s complimentary music videos.

Having increasingly mastered his own individualized creative process, Crane will continue the tradition of monthly releases in 2024, through at least August. Tuesday, January 23 is the official first release of next year with the single “Invisible Child,” although Crane has a feeling that “these releases will culminate in a full-length album by the time it’s all said and done.” He’s currently in the process of collaborating on even more new songs with other artists, with one of those completed collaborations being the track “Living Outstretched,” recorded with friend and former bandmate Andrew Krist of Manic Vision on “blazin’ lead guitar.”

Having intensely honed his craft over the past year, Crane says he’s become more definitive in his sound, with these eight new songs being a “more raw and transparent trip into my head.” He compared his ever-progressing songwriting process with a relatable metaphor — “It’s sort of like, I didn’t worry too much about tidying up before guests arrive so what you hear feels very genuine and unapologetically authentic.” As is only human, Crane has also discovered some new bands lately that have made an inevitable impression on his newer music, such as Blonde Redhead, as well as shoegaze and art-rock influences that have mixed interestingly with his “synth-friendly, psych-rock style.”

All this will undoubtedly lead to live performances, which Crane says he’s “no stranger to,” though the details of those impending musical happenings are yet to be announced. While he’s certainly enjoyed this time of song-craftsmanship in the studio, Crane is looking forward to bringing the new songs to the stage to not just “reach a wider audience,” but to see how they “will evolve as they are brought into a live setting.” Whether in a full, raucous venue setting or in a solo and acoustic moment, he says that “the evolution of a song as it is played over and over has always been so beautiful to me.” It looks like that evolution will only continue to add bigger and better things to Benton Crane’s repertoire as we move into the new year, and his new musical dimension.