New York’s Jake Benjamin embraces his ‘darkest parts’ in “It Comes As a Friend (ft. Carey Clayton),” an achingly intimate song that poignantly and poetically reckons with anxiety and depression.
“It Comes As a Friend” – Jake Benjamin ft. Carey Clayton[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1039269808?secret_token=s-vpoMXex90KL” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=true&visual=true&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
It comes as a friend and stays as a shadow…
No one naturally embraces their anxiety; it’s the part of us we are perhaps most prone to either fight or ignore, pushing it deep down so that no one, not even us, knows it’s there. To accept anxiety as a part of our individual makeup shows tremendous self-awareness and understanding, and in his latest single, singer/songwriter Jake Benjamin goes one step further: The New York artist embraces his ‘darkest parts’ in “It Comes As a Friend (ft. Carey Clayton),” an achingly intimate song that poignantly and poetically reckons with anxiety and depression.
By doing this, Benjamin offers a path for learning to live with these struggles, acknowledging the good and the bad as a part of the overall life experience.
It comes as a friend and stays as a shadow
Let it reach your head and rattle you to the end
And everything starts
Except your weary heart
But you breathe
You take your body back and take the lead
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “It Comes As a Friend,” out everywhere January 28, 2022 via Kaleidoscopic Press. The latest single off Benjamin’s forthcoming Broken Stars project is a devastating outpouring of emotion set to a warm, ethereal soundtrack. The song features guitarist/producer Carey Clayton, known for sampling his guitar parts and altering them cinematically with production software.
“When I was tracking this with Carey, I found the freedom to paint what anxiety means to me in sound,” Benjamin shares.
While his music has always had a certain atmospheric quality to it, “It Comes As a Friend” is one of Benjamin’s most filmic and stirring offerings of his career. The song employs space as almost an instrument in itself, letting sounds breathe and feelings sink in slowly. As he manifests his personal experience with anxiety and depression, a double-tracked Jake Benjamin rises and falls with learned grace; he’s not fighting anymore. His hypnotic performance is made even more moving by the ethereal backdrop of guitars, pads, and drums – a soundscape that feels alive, like it could swallow us whole if it wanted to.
It comes as a chill, freezing all in place
It slows your body down, heavy ice in your veins
And no one is there
To give you the care
And you breathe
Take your body back and take the lead
Releasing this song is itself an act of courage for the artist.
“Even though this song was tracked two years ago before the pandemic, I feel like this song is being set into the world at the right time,” he tells Atwood Magazine. “Being in this battle for over half my life, I wanted to share an honest interpretation of what anxiety and depression is like for me physically as well as emotionally. It makes me grateful that this resonates with so many people because as a kid, this topic was usually something you couldn’t talk about. Our society has transitioned to a place where mental health can be addressed more freely; there’s more work to be done, but we’re getting there.”
With voices in different corners
That don’t bring the warmth in
The same shit revolves around you
No one wants to see the truth
Your shattered heart and empty spaces
you’re torn apart, with no traces
And you breathe
“It Comes As a Friend” isn’t necessarily uplifting, but it is cathartic in its own comforting way. From Benjamin’s powerful vocal work to Carey Clayton’s compelling production, to the simple message to “breathe,” this song proves an evocative acceptance and embrace of our inner demons. You don’t have to hide your anxiety or ignore your depression. Talking about it, or in this case, singing about it, helps – and while these feelings don’t necessarily go away, as Benjamin so viscerally reminds us, we can take our bodies back and take the lead.
“It Comes As a Friend” – Jake Benjamin ft. Carey Clayton[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1039269808?secret_token=s-vpoMXex90KL” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&visual=true&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
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? © Rachel Rodgers
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