Eric Benoit
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Eric Benoit

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

New York City, NY | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Electronic Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Album Review: Eric Benoit – Heartrender"

The sophomore album from Eric Benoit features electronic instrumentation, difficult themes and ethereal, sometimes obscured vocals, akin to the music of James Blake. The pairing of deeply personal examinations of problematic relationships and synth-fuelled, almost dancey beats is a successful, albeit surprising one.

The intensity shared by both of these elements makes them match perfectly: the music conveys the central themes beautifully, creating an immersive narrative for listeners. This is not only an album, it is a space in which listeners are free to lose – and eventually find – themselves again.

A landscape of emotional outpourings, it presents enough heart to both sting and soothe the soul, a juxtaposition epitomised by “Dragonflies.” Benoit employs language brusque enough to rival The Sex Pistols – ‘Fucking is a disease/ procreation is incest” – as he recalls his child self reacting with disgust to the sight of two dragonflies mating against a backdrop of pluck-synth and gradually intensified syncopated electronic keys and drums.

Displaying such an intense aversion to sex, he is clearly debunking one of pop’s most pernicious tropes – the glorification of sex – to underline the gratuity that saturates the industry with his humorous use of irony.

The sequence does not relent its thematic objective at any moment; Benoit describes – with remarkable frankness – his innermost thoughts and pains, employing straightforward language and refusing to cower behind figurative tools and metaphors. However, he also succeeds in refraining from being overly heavy with the feels, an achievement largely owed to his skilful choice of track listing.

The darkest pieces of the album are followed by instrumental, more sensitive numbers, tracks that provide the listener with respite and space for reflection. Benoit’s depiction of sexual trauma in the poignant “Aristotle”, for instance, is succeeded by an ambient instrumental harmonies that deliver four and a half minutes of tranquility in “Dream”.

Providing scope for Benoit to showcase some of his musical diversity, “Taos” – a melancholic piece focusing on what the artist describes as ‘falling for someone and being too far away to reach them’ – detours from the electronic style governing the album with its indie-folk nature.

Benoit opts for rippling, intertwining picked guitar melodies and gentle vocals, all with just a whisper of synth, whilst maintaining the immersivity produced by the rest of the tracks. Culminating in an uplifting, defiant feel – held together by an outro of crashing guitars and powerful vocals – it reinforces its disjunction from the rest of the album, displaying a glimmer of hope.

Heartrender is challenging, yet well-balanced, an auditory narrative knitted together by slow-burning vocals, explorative tracks and enveloping synth. It’s a courageous second release from the New Yorker; in spite of being a difficult one to listen to, it is a valuable piece of art.

Bethan Ryder - We Are Unseen

"Premiere: Eric Benoit’s Heartrender goes for the jugular"

New York based producer, songwriter and performer Eric Benoit releases his new album Heartrender today, and it’s a pretty heavy listen. It’s heavy in a musical sense, featuring some dense arrays of synthesizers, booming bass and intense beats, with a sonic palette that falls somewhere between Björk and Andy Stott, with some interesting subtleties in between. Today, Treble is premiering the full album stream of Heartrender, and it’s a pretty powerful way to start the day. Benoit’s songs live up to the album’s title, with themes of love, sex, trauma, heartbreak and other unwanted side effects of human relationships. It sounds amazing, but it’s definitely a bold statement.

Listen to the Eric Benoit Heartrender stream below. - Treble Zine

"Eric Benoit's "Dragonflies" Foreshadows Uncomfortable Truths (premiere)"

"When I was a child in the north New Jersey suburbs, circa 2003, I remember being terrified by the sight of two dragonflies mating," says Eric Benoit. "I've always hated insects, and here I had found two giant ones fused together in some sort of nightmarish flying catastrophe."

He continues, "I couldn't have realized at the time how it would foreshadow my own sexual experiences. There's passion in this song and sex, but not in the way you're probably accustomed to."

The NYC artist is delving into an immersive new sound on his sophomore album, Heartrender, set to be released on 26 January. Across its seven tracks, Benoit will captivate listeners with his blend of experimental dance, indie folk, and alternative styles. As is seen and heard with Heartrender's lead single, "Dragonfly", he also aims to unveil some uncomfortable truths on the record.

With a matter-of-fact dive into Benoit's views on sex, love, and the human body, the record won't be an album for the timid. It also relates to truth in all of us as he bluntly tells his story of a volatile relationship. In a way, it feels like an attempt for the artist to liberate himself as he comes to terms with sexual trauma. For all of the cinematic production and innate musical artistry present on "Dragonflies", the most captivating part of it all might well be how achingly, tangibly real it is—more-so than most would have courage or audacity to show in their art. For Benoit to have done so, it means that his art is true. - PopMatters

"Interview: Eric Benoit on Finding Inspiration in Trauma"

On a guitar rich in bass tones and coated with tasteful reverb, Eric Benoit conjures a series of gentle arpeggios, punctuating them with a few well-placed harmonics. Then, with his lilting tenor, he carries us through simple, evocative lyrics: “I’ve never been to New Mexico / Never seen the canyons there / But I open up my window sometimes / I breathe the Jersey winter air.” The atmosphere is serene, wistful, and melancholy. You can imagine Eric in his bedroom in Jersey, guitar in hands, singing quietly and dreaming of western landscapes. This is “Taos,” the first single from Eric Benoit’s upcoming sophomore album, Heartrender, out January 26, 2018.

Eric is a Middlebury graduate (’16) and a New York City-based singer, songwriter, producer, and mixing and mastering engineer. His experience at Middlebury shaped him as a person and impacted his music significantly. In fact, his debut album, College (2017), was based on his experience braving Middlebury’s high-pressure environment while facing challenges to his mental health and well-being. “I found Middlebury to be a very lonely place,” he recalls, “a place of high pressure and stress, and unhealthy social relationships and division. That’s on the negative side. But on the positive side, it was a place where I felt people cared about what they were doing and were extremely passionate and wanted to learn and develop and grow.”

Less than a year after his debut, Eric has returned with Heartrender, a more polished and more focused sophomore record, full of unforgettable, emotional tracks that venture into dark and uncomfortable lyrical themes. “It’s an album about trauma,” Eric explains, “and especially the trauma that comes with growing up, losing innocence, and having negative experiences related to sex and love.” Although “Taos” is built on mellow guitar, Eric considers it “an aberration” for him. The rest of the album is more electronic, with punchy percussion and growling synthesizers supporting Eric’s powerful, dynamic vocals. “They’re definitely not typical dance tracks in any normal sense,” Eric muses. But still, electronic dance influences are integral to Eric’s unique sound.

The experiences that informed the album are what many would consider personal and private, but Eric takes risks and embraces vulnerability in his art, even though it scares him. “One of the messages of my music is that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a great thing. But it can also be very scary. . . Having strangers peer into the inner parts of your life, that’s probably the scariest thing.” And yet, Eric finds that the more risks he takes, the more rewards he reaps. For him, dealing with negative experiences through art can be “an extremely cathartic and positive activity.” He quotes one of his favorite Middlebury film professors, David Miranda Hardy: “Art is not therapy, but it can be therapeutic.”

The anxious sound of the album mirrors not only the lyrical themes, but also the tension under which it was produced. “It was a time of extreme stress in my life, and I think that had to manifest itself one way or another. So these songs kind of came tumbling out of me. I wrote the album very quickly. . . I felt like it was something that already existed and that I just had to find.” You can hear this sense of agitated intensity in the music. It bursts with energy, a living thing with a mind all its own.

Take, for example, the second single, “Dragonflies,” set to be released on January 19. With a catchy pluck-synth melody, a hammering beat, dissonant piano chords, and a gradually building tidal wave of buzzing synths, the claustrophobic atmosphere is palpable and terrifying. Meanwhile, Eric sings with heart-stopping conviction about sexual disgust and physical discomfort. “I’ve had a poor relationship with my own body, and that is the inspiration for a lot of the more vitriolic lines in the song,” he explains. “That song is not really meant to be cathartic, it’s just an outpouring of emotion and pain. But I also think, strangely enough, it’s a fun song to listen to.”

Eric’s film studies at Middlebury had a major impact on his philosophy of composition and his keen attention to detail. “When I was taking film classes, I was constantly blown away and inspired by these directors who could take the subject matter of their film and represent it abstractly through the way they were filming it. . . Just from a completely formal perspective, they could add so much weight to the character and the story and every other aspect of the movie. And so that’s something I’ve been obsessed with finding in music as well.”

Much like a good film director, Eric brings out the emotional, universal meaning of his art by telling specific, concrete stories, rather than hiding behind figurative language and clichés. “I feel it’s through the personal, through the specific, through the individual, idiosyncratic experience that you actually get at the broader question of everybody’s lives. . . My favorite songwriters, like Phil Elverum, in his previous album especially, are able to get at universal human experiences and anxieties and pressures and joy and all those other emotions that we all experience, by being so ultra-specific.”

Under the enormous pressure of being an independent artist in a competitive music scene, Eric has a number of strategies to keep his head up and keep the creative inspiration flowing. “Your best insights often will come when you’re thinking about something completely different. Your unconscious mind somehow is processing the creative work while your attention is occupied by something else. So if I ever find myself facing a creative roadblock, I’ll stop what I’m doing and try to do something completely different.” Especially key for Eric is talking to other people and learning from them. “Just talking to others and getting their perspectives and worldviews and their opinions on what’s going on and what they’re thinking about and what’s important to them. Making it a little bit less about yourself is huge.”

Finally, Eric strikes a delicate balance between keeping his audience in mind and staying true to himself. “I do try to think about who is going to listen to my songs and what they’re likely to think. It can be hard or impossible to predict that. I think the main thing is that I’ll never release a song that I don’t want to listen to.” - WRMC 91.1FM: Middlebury College Radio

"JUST LISTEN: Eric Benoit “Taos”"

A song that will speak to you on a cold winter day, perfect for a timely reflection while watching the frost come over the ground. While “Taos” starts with just Benoit strumming the guitar before his melancholy vocals finally come into play at 38 seconds, this track very slowly builds as Eric strongly gets across the feeling of longing – all whilst hitting some just stunningly heart wrenching notes. But at 4:20, “Taos” ruptures in a different direction with a heavy riff and a “reaching for the skies” chorus that leaves an element of hope to the new single. A perfect introduction to Eric Benoit’s sophomore album, Heartrender. - Open Ears Music

"PREMIERE: Eric Benoit – “Taos”"

Eric Benoit will release his sophomore album on January 26th. The new album, Heartrender, finds him maintaining the cinematic style of his first album while drawing inspiration from a variety of styles. Thematically, Heartrender is a heavy affair and tells the story of a ruinous, short-lived relationship. The album documents Benoit’s attempt to come to terms with sexual trauma. Today, we premiere the album single, “Taos”, a slow burner that ignites into a fiery climax. Listen to it below and check out what Benoit had to say about the song.

Eric Benoit on the song:

“Taos” is a song about longing, and distance, about falling for someone and being too far away to reach them. It’s bittersweet — a moment of beauty and clarity in an otherwise dark album, and a departure from my usual electronic work. I needed a mellow guitar to tell this story, to convey the fragile innocence the song describes. It’s a song about New Jersey, New Mexico, and the many miles in between. - Earbuddy


NYC artist Eric Benoit recently released “Symptom” and it is definitely not music to play on a sunny picnic. Heavy electronic sounds immediately made me think of the most recent Tron movie (the darker moments), as well as the music making me think if some of the more electric Nine Inch Nails. It takes more than 2 minutes for any kind of percussion or beat to kick in, and when it does, you’re well aboard a fast moving train in a tunnel with no lights. Musically speaking, of course…

Eric Benoit creates music of self-destruction, but it’s not to make you depressed. His sound comes more as an elegy for a suicidal friend and a story of growing up. Eric made his first live appearance as the Artist of the Month at The Bitter End Singer-Songwriter Series (NYC) in September 2014. Satisfied with his songwriting, but frustrated with the limitations of his guitar and voice, he devoted himself to learning electronic music production. Eventually, he created the mixture of electronic, singer-songwriter, experimental, and dance music that comprised his debut. His first full length is called College and was released a few months back.

Turn off the lights and let’s listen to “Symptom”. - Too Much Love Magazine


Eric Benoit says his song Symptom is about anxiety, fuelled by his reflection on a friend he lost to suicide: a subject which also occupies much of the creative force behind his new album College. The track builds slowly in to a track that journeys through the darkest sounds Daft Punk would wish they had made. There’s a lot of beauty in darkness and Benoit does a great job in uncovering it. - Electronic North

"Audio: Today’s Submissions No. 39"

The latest edition of our submissions features where we dig through the vast amount of emails and messages received over the past few weeks. As usual, there’s a lot of not so good music coming our way, but as always there’s a handful of gems as well. In the bag today, we have new music by Bad Math, Eros, Bobby Earth, Joesph Shabason, Eric Benoit and SAN . We think these artists are worth taking note of, so do just that, and enjoy the music. - Twisted Soul Music


“I was surprised by how much pressure it took to make the incision, and that made me feel safe. Because I had always thought of the body as so fragile”

Saturday, February 20th, 2016: I hadn’t been feeling well that day, but I figured the party would cheer me up. I threw on a suit jacket – a rare occasion at Middlebury College – drank a beer, and got ready to go.

A brisk 10-minute walk brought me to a friend’s house to pregame. Things didn’t feel too awkward, even when two ex-hookups showed up. I thought I had a fever, or maybe it was just the harsh wind on the walk over. My nose was bleeding, but that’s all right, it happens all the time.

A sign proclaiming “100 Days to Graduation!” greeted us at the door. Everyone was crowded near the food and alcohol, and I became separated from my group. Kids I hadn’t seen in years came up to me with niceties while trying to remember my name. I didn’t bother asking them theirs.

I soon lost interest in the sweaty, awkward dance floor with a student DJ playing hits from the 90s. Seeing familiar faces flashed me back to the basement parties, drunken and spinning with sexual angst and self-doubt. I pushed the memories away and grabbed some more mac and cheese.

When I got home, I collapsed onto my bed face down. After staying motionless for about 20 minutes, I got up and ignored the blood rush to my head and black particles collecting in front of my vision. It’s called orthostatic hypotension, and it’s fine.

Changing into a white t-shirt and comfortable shorts, I browsed Facebook for a little while before my attention was drawn to the scissors on my desk. I picked them up and just looked at them for a while. I felt the texture of the blades, caressed them, even.

To my credit, I stopped myself a few times first. I put the scissors away, in the back corner of my desk drawer, and tried to forget about them. But things have a way of calling to you when you’re trying to ignore them. It felt good – seriously good – to just pick them up and run them over my forearms. Like a good massage. It made the hair on the nape of my neck stand up on end.

Maybe the alcohol acted as an anesthetic because it didn’t hurt. Actually, it felt great. It felt like being in control of something for once. Honestly, it was masturbatory. Each cut in my forearm felt like a small victory.

Later, I remember reading a post on the “r/selfharm” subreddit:

“Don’t start cutting yourself, it gets out of control, it becomes an addiction, you’ll never stop.”

It was too late, but I got help, and I mostly avoided cutting myself again. The scars, by now, have faded.

Over a year later, I’m finally ready to talk about it.

I was fortunate enough to take advantage of free counseling services offered by the college, although those services were, regrettably, understaffed. I know not everyone has access to these types of resources, which can make you feel like you’re dealing with this on your own.

If you are dealing with similar issues, I urge you to get help – it made a huge difference for me. If you are in a crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). If you need options for long-term support, you can find comprehensive databases on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Mental Health America.

Thank you to those reading my story and to Infectious Mag for helping make Mental Health Awareness a focus this month. My personal email is – please reach out if you want to talk, whether it’s about mental health, self-harm, the music industry, or anything else.

Eric Benoit creates music of self-destruction, but it’s not to make you depressed. His debut album, ‘College’, is releasing on June 16th, 2017 worldwide. An elegy for a suicidal friend and a story of mental illness, the album focuses on his junior and senior years attending Middlebury College. Infectious Mag readers can pick up a pre-release copy for free, which includes a song about the events described above, on Bandcamp. - Infectious Magazine

"Eric Benoit Electronic-Folk Entdeckung (Eric Benoit - Electronic Folk Discovery)"

(Translated by Google)

For you, I've discovered Eric Benoit, an electronic folk musician.

I discovered Eric Benoit exclusively for you. He's coming out of the New York metropolitan area, and if you're looking for the sound of James Blake or the Fleet Foxes, you should read on. Because the American makes sure that his tracks are very sensitive. He makes quite clear steps in terms of catchiness.

Spherical, very finely drawn and always a bit drifting off. So for me sounded his current single "Friend", which appeared late August. Pulsed, restrained, and with a warm voice of the American, Eric Benoit comes along. Really much does not happen in the song. But it does not have to, because it has almost the same effect as film music. Something off the ground, but always looking for support.

Sounds and vocals overlap and loop. This is probably stratified, but sometimes something too over-arched. Then suddenly it is quiet and the song fades out.

This is often the case with Benoit and his music. We lose ourselves, drift away, and then we are a bit frightened, as the song just breaks off. Whether he really gets further out of his niche is questionable. For this, the music is too special. But that is exactly what makes him so exciting. - SoundKartell


With influences ranging from the lo-fi musings of The Mountain Goats and The Microphones to the indie-rock royalty of Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire, Eric writes indie folk tunes with a punk edge. Eschewing traditional song structures, his arrangements weave and turn, constantly surprising while remaining gripping and melodic. His lyrics mix directness and forcefulness with a poet’s finesse.

His musical project began in earnest in the summer of 2014 when he began writing and recording a lo-fi album entitled Summer Travails. A concept album detailing the life and death of a World War II veteran and his wife, Summer Travails mixes the barest bones of acoustic guitar and voice with distorted rage and sweeping sadness. He expects to release the album for free online during Autumn 2014.

N.b. [1] This review has been edited for relevance and clarity. Please click the title if you would like to see the original review.
[2] "Summer Travails" was released as a limited run of digital downloads in September 2015. - Singer Songwriter Sessions


Heartrender - Full Length (2018)
Symptom / Doubt
- Single (2017)
- Full Length (2017)



Eric Benoit's musical project began in the summer of 2014 with his live debut as Artist of the Month at The Bitter End Singer-Songwriter Series (NYC). He released his debut album, College, on June 16th, 2017. Soon afterwards, he successfully funded the release of his second LP, Heartrender, on Indiegogo, played a packed album release show at PIANOS NYC on January 27th, 2018, and received positive reviews from PopMatters, Treble Magazine, We Are Unseen, and more.

During the summer of 2018, Eric will be releasing two EPs: Black Currant (May 25) and Pride Parade (Aug 3). Though they employ differing musical styles and creative approaches, the EPs share an exploration of sexuality, queerness, pain, joy, personal struggle, loneliness, and transformation. 

Band Members