Young Benjamins
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Young Benjamins

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | INDIE

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Rock




"Young Benjamins Pinball Session"

Saskatoon, SK’s Young Benjamins bring a true sincerity to their music. Neusha Mofazzali’s accent tinged vocals are oddly steeped in the prairie landscape that he calls home.

The band joined us in a little hotel room in Toronto back in February to share some of the songs off of their upcoming debut record and made a few of us swoon. These are the songs of a summer romance in a winter’s cold. The kind of music that you can’t help but light up about. Even the obvious heartbreak is uplifting. Their combination of indie rock and folk with a sprinkle of pop remind us of some of their predecessors but this is a sound unique to this phenomenal quartet.

Their debut album “Less Argue” drops on May 21, 2013. Along with a debut release, Young Benjamins will be playing at a number of events and festivals in the coming months including Sled Island, Hillside, Mosofest, Ness Creek, Sask Jazz Fest, and more. - Pinball Sessions

"Young Benjamins'Less Argue' (album stream)"

May 14 2013 |By Sarah Murphy
Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, Young Benjamins are ready to release their debut full-length Less Argue, but you can listen to it right here before it hits the shelves.

The band match the vocals of UK-born Neusha Mofazzali with a blend of folk, indie rock and good old-fashioned pop influences, though multi-instrumentalist Veronique Poulin takes over singing duty on the album opener "The Colonial Pt. 1."

Less Argue was recorded at Avenue Recording Studios in Saskatoon and mixed in Athens, GA, by John Keane (R.E.M., Widespread Panic). The album has an ode to a famous Canadian mountain town ("Jasper, AB"), a tribute to one of Mofazzali's grandfather's Farsi poems ("Green Eyes") and an abundance of catchy hooks.

The record arrives on May 21 via Dollartone Records, and the indie-folk troupe have a number of Canadian shows coming up this summer, which you can see here. For now, though, give Less Argue a listen below. - Exclaim!

"Young Benjamins announce Debut Album, Map out Canadian Tour"

Apr 30 2013 |By Alex Hudson
You may detect a trace of a British accent in singer Neusha Mofazzali's voice, but his band Young Benjamins make their home in Saskatoon, SK. The four-piece's debut album, Less Argue, is out on May 21 via Dollartone Records.

The album was recorded at Saskatoon's Avenue Recording and mastered by John Keane (R.E.M., Widespread Panic) in Athens, GA. It reportedly blends folk, rock and pop influences, and relies on what a press release calls "a focused use of minor chords, creating a sound that is infectious and refreshing."

The UK-born Mofazzali sings lead on the majority of the album, although multi-instrumentalist Veronique Poulin takes the mic on the opening track, "The Colonial Pt. I (You're Only 20)." Elsewhere, "Green Eyes" is based on a Farsi poem written by Mofazzali's grandfather, while the song "Out There (In the Wild)" previously appeared on the band's self-titled 2011 EP.

Scroll past the tracklist below to see Young Benjamins' upcoming tour schedule. More shows are due to be announced soon.

Less Argue:

1. Colonial Pt. I (You're Only 20)
2. Out There (In the Wild)
3. Jasper, AB
4. Move, Move!
5. Young Argument
6. Less Argue
7. Green Eyes
8. Oh Marie
9. Common Thief
10. The Solace
11. The Colonial Pt. II

Tour dates:

5/24 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo's Cantina
5/25 Regina, SK - The Artful Dodger
6/15 Saskatoon, SK - Victoria Park (Pride)
6/15Saskatoon, SK - Broadway Theatre (MoSoFest)
6/20 Calgary, AB - Sled Island Festival
6/21 Swift Current, SK - Long Day's Night
7/19-20 Big River, SK - Ness Creek Festival
7/26-28 Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival
- Exclaim!

"Toronto Hosts Folk Alliance"

The 25th Annual Folk Alliance Conference took over a downtown hotel for four days and nights with all variations of folk music.

Imagine if you will the lobby of a large downtown hotel filled with people: the constant murmur; the energy; and the aura of excitement. Now imagine that most of those people have instruments. Some are being carried, some are being inspected and compared, and some are being played. There’s music around every corner, accompanied by accents from all over the world.

The Folk Alliance Conference is an annual event that moves from city to city around North America. The 25th rendition took place in Toronto. The Delta Chelsea Hotel, host of the very Canada-centric “Winterfolk” every February, was a well-suited choice. With a pub at street level and two floors above that with ample meeting rooms, there were ten different stages set up with a different act playing every half hour in each one.

When most people hear “folk music”, images of long-haired, granola-eating hippies come to mind. The surprising thing about Folk Alliance is the looseness of the term “folk”. The word has its origins in a Germanic noun meaning “people”, so technically, any kind of music fits the bill. At Folk Alliance 2013, there were the expected genres like Newfoundland/Irish traditional or folks strumming acoustic guitar while singing politically motivated lyrics. And you would find related acts, such as Scottish, Irish and Australian bands with a trad style. What you might not expect, though, is genres like blues, Latin, soul and - yes, it’s true - even rock and roll.

Another surprising aspect of Folk Alliance, due to the world-wide attendance, was the variety of instruments. There was a band with not one, but two bagpipe players, playing at the relatively small and very enclosed Monarch’s Pub. A band comprised of two Irish guys and an Australian guy that one of them met while living on the streets, played a Jaw Harp, something that looks like a bit of throw-away wire, but sounds like a didgeridoo. Who has ever even heard of a Shunti (an Indian accordion the size of a small briefcase) never mind actually heard one? All of this, and more, was there to be discovered at the conference.

Aside from all the fascinating, and sometimes odd (tap dancing!), acts to take in for free, there were several Canadian bands that really stood out as acts to follow as they tour across the country in the coming months. Sherman Downey and the Silver Lining is a band from a small town near Cornerbrook, Newfoundland that have the catchiest tunes and possibly the biggest potential for turning any space into a swaying, singing, joyful party. Young Benjamins are a four-piece from Saskatoon with plenty of creativity and energy in equal doses (think along the lines of Rah Rah and Library Voices). The JD Edwards Band hails from Winnipeg and was easily the most rocking band in the hotel all weekend.

Being a folk festival, there were stellar acts along the lines of roots and folk music. Three Maritimers, Amelia Curran (Newfoundland), Catherine MacLellan (PEI) and Old Man Luedecke (Nova Scotia) stood out above the masses. In terms of most unusual and pleasing arrangements, the blues-infused folksy music of The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, a duo from Vancouver, were a highlight; seeing them back in the city, playing in a small club will be a treat. On the bluesy soul side of things, Charlie A’Court sprinkled goose bumps through the crowd with his distinctive voice and amazing cover of Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come”.

All in all, it was a fantastic music conference, with many of the performances open to the general public from about 6 pm until the wee hours, four nights in a row. While you could see popular Canadian bands like The Wooden Sky or Ben Caplan in this unusual setting, there were many new discoveries. We were fortunate to get the Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto this year and let’s hope we get it again sometime soon.

- Sticky Magazine

"Folk You! Young Benjamins cover Pink Floyd"

Young Benjamins at Q107 Toronto - Q107

"A Happy Accident"

"... One of the most promising bands Saskatchewan has produced in years." - Verb Magazine - Regina, SK

"A Happy Accident"

How Young Benjamins Came Together And Knocked 'em Dead... - Verb Magazine

"Interview with Young Benjamins"

The Young Benjamins, a Saskatoon-based four-piece, are celebrating the recent release of their self-titled three song EP, and are quickly making a name for themselves in local circles.

The group formed when front man Neusha Mofazzali moved from England to Saskatoon four years ago, and coalesced around seasoned musicians Enver Hampton (bass) and Vaero Poulin (violin). Rounded out by drummer Kuba Szmigielski, The Young Benjamins have brought a different perspective to a rapidly expanding prairies sound.

“Moving to Canada from England really inspired me to write songs, because the whole move brought out a handful of different emotions that eventually led me to put them into a musical perspective,” says Mofazzali. “I used to just write lyric-less songs on the piano and guitar, until I moved to Canada and for some reason the transition to the prairies helped with expanding my song writing.”

The Young Benjamins

Musically the band falls somewhere in-between traditional folk and indie rock. The instrumentation is telling of the genre but the arrangements are at times reminiscent of the angularness of math rock but without sounding dated.

Alternating between footstomping anthems and sleepy folk dirge-ballads, according to Mofazzali, The Young Benjamins hope to carry their current momentum into the summer tour circuit.

“We have few shows coming up in February,” says Mofazzali. “On the 3rd we are playing with Father Figures at Amigos and on the 19th we are playing at Lydia’s with Fountains of Youth. As for the near future, Young Benjamin’s are working on a tour of the States after the album is released, and playing a few more shows across the province. We are looking to do a mini tour in April after we release a single.

“I can’t wait to go on tour and play festivals.” - Ominocity - Saskatoon, SK

"Young Benjamins rock the Planet S Showcase at Amigos"


Young, sure — but already poised to become a major player in Saskatoon’s music scene and, here’s betting, well beyond city limits.

Young Benjamins have only been together since late 2009, and they only grew from a duo to a full band about a year ago. But already, they’ve become one of the most talked-about groups in the city’s music scene. According to guitarist/vocalistNeusha Mofazzali, the Benjamins formed through a serious of wonderful coincidences.

“Me and Kuba [Szmigielski, drums] met in a Geomatics lab at the U of S. By luck, we started jamming through a mutual friend and we complemented each other’s musical style, so we decided to keep jamming. We played a few open mics, which is where we met Veronique [Poulin, violin and vocals] and she brought along the strings and elegant vocals. We just collided with Brynn [Krysa], and wanted her to become our bassist so bad — and now she is! And here we are — whoop!”

Mofazzali’s enthusiasm is infectious, as is Young Benjamin’s music. A complex but utterly catchy mix of folk, roots and rock, there really is something in there for almost everyone. There’s definitely been some thought put into these songs — although Mofazzali says the point is to just write good music, regardless of how anyone else wants to categorize it.

“I find it extremely hard to describe our music because it varies a lot and I can’t keep up with it sometimes, so we don’t bother sticking to one genre. Who needs genre anyway? What musicians really need are Mini Eggs, Kettle chips, a smoothie made in a Magic Bullet and a hedgehog named Dave.”

Another thing musicians need is a vibrant, supportive scene — and Mofazzali says Young Benjamins have been finding that in spades ever since they started.

“We’re overwhelmed by the immense support we receive from Saskatoon. But that’s the thing about Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan in general — the people here really support their own. There is a wonderful sense of community within the scene, we feel fortunate to be a part of it. But still, we need be able to buy Mini Eggs at bars...”

Mofazzali and co. will have plenty of opportunities to hunt down Mini Eggs (seriously, what the hell’s up with that? These guys really love Mini Eggs!) across Canada in the coming months, as they’ll be touring almost non-stop.

“We’re playing a string of music festivals in both Saskatchewan and Alberta over the next few months, including Regina Folk Festival, Ness Creek, The Works Art and Design Festival, Freedom Fest and Summer Fest. We also have a couple of big shows coming up that we’re very excited about, opening up for Dragonnette and Rah Rah on their respective tours.

“We were just in the studio recording our newest single, which we plan to release very soon, and we’re also in the midst of booking a fall tour. As for long-range plans, we’ll see where this summer takes us and get back to you!” /Chris Kirkland - Planet S Magazine - Saskatoon, SK

"Shiny and New!"

Young Benjamins

A talented band with an already-realized sound, Young Benjamins has been doing everything right so far. When frontman Neusha Mofazzali relocated from England to Saskatoon, he brought a variety of sounds and influences with him, which are apparent in the group’s debut three-song EP. Combining meandering indie-folk-isms with intricate musicianship (the group features Véronique Poulin, a Fransaskois fiddle-player) and boldly apparent pop sensibilities, Young Benjamins are on the cusp of becoming one of the city’s brightest new exports.

- Planet S Magazine - Saskatoon, SK

"Long Live the Honeymoon"

The Young Benjamins
9:15 Saturday 11

It’s strange that some of Saskatoon’s most exciting and talked-about bands are usually those in the developing stages. The real trick, as is with any relationship, is keeping the magic alive for years after the honeymoon phase has long passed.

The Young Benjamins, a snappy indie rock quartet with folk leanings, have only existed as a band for a couple of years. So far they’ve released an EP and developed as a live force to be reckoned with.

But, according to violinist Vaero Poulin, the group’s plan for longevity is to keep focused while having as much fun as possible.

“Saskatoon offers a lot of really great opportunities in terms of performing and getting a show prepared,” says Poulin. “We’ve had a lot of people come up to us and offer us shows. And the more you play, the more you win.”

The Young Benjamins developed in do-or-die circumstances — the shows got bigger and so did the need to maintain a certain amount of professionalism, says Poulin.

“When we found out that we were playing the Ness Creek Festival main stage we realized we had to make it sound as big as possible with a limited amount of experience,” she says. “But I think it worked because we were really comfortable with the material that we had and Neusha is a showman. He’s not afraid of making fun of himself, or us, and that helps lighten the mood. That definitely helps make us comfortable on stage.”

The group formed when frontman Neusha Mofazzali, who had moved to the Prairies from England as a young adult, met drummer Kuba Szmigielski. The duo coalesced musically and personally, forming a band and becoming roommates.

After several shows, they added Poulin and bassist Brynn Krysa. Under this line-up, the group began writing songs at a furious pace, including those found on their debut EP.

But despite still being the new kids on the block, Poulin says the group has had the benefit of drawing from a well of experience from previous endeavours.

“We are all fairly business-minded with this band. I have my own project that I have been booking for and organizing for a while now and I was able to bring that sense to this group,” she says. “We wanted to get things going with this group as fast as possible but still keep a sense of light-heartedness.

“We are doing this because we love this, not because it is a job.”

Poulin reports that the four-piece are planning on hitting the studio to record a full-length, and already have more tour plans in the books.

“We’re also trying out some new material on our upcoming tour, which will take us through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We are touring with a band from the Yukon called Old Time Machine, which is going to be great.” /Chris Morin
- Prairie Dog Magazine - Regina, SK

"Regina Folk Fest - A band that should be on your radar"

Each year at the Regina Folk Fest I am excited to find that one band that is a hidden gem. From my experience, this band is usually not a main act and may have a short set on one of the sunlit stages or be a teaser act between main acts. Sometimes I think this is why I go to Folk Fest. To find those bands that have a great sound, vocals and have the potential to one day have its name as a headliner act.

So who was the hidden gem this year you may ask?

Young Benjamins

Young Benjamins are ALMOST LOCAL. They hail from a city not so far off from us Reginaians-Saskatoon. The band consists of four members. The lead singer, Neusha Mofazzali, a guitarist originally from the UK, drummer Kuba Szmigielski (Saskatoon), Violinist Véronique (Vaero) and bass player Brynn Krysa.

The sound of Young Benjamins can be described as energetic folk pop with a taste of travel (when you listen you'll know what I mean). The combination of the violin and the drums certainly help to create the style of Young Benjamins. I also found that the vocal mixture of Neusha and Véronique were wonderful. It is rare to listen to two voices that sound that good together.

This is a band that you should definitely keep on your radar. And hey! They only live a couple hours away... - Rare Regina - Regina, SK

"Bones Review"

Infectious pop – I’m a sucker for it. It’s not a stretch to say that most of us are. Bubblegum beats stick are rarely unhappy and group vocals stick with you. Saskatoon foursome Young Benjamins bring this sort of feeling with their new single. A relatively young band fronted by London-born Saskatchewan-dwelling Iranian Neusha Mofazzali, Young Benjamins only have a three-song Ep to their name, however they show a lot of promise. “Bones” is perfect for this time of year, very reminiscent of warm sunny days but also hinting at a something a tad sinister.

It’s been said that Saskatchewan bands are a little overlooked so do yourself a favour and change that. Young Benjamins are preparing a full album that will hopefully be around before the end of 2012. For now, listen/download their new single, “Bones”.
- Sound Vat - Northern Ontario, ON

"Q&A with Lead Singer, Neusha Mofazzali"

This new band out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, have made one of my favourite songs of 2012. “Bones” is the perfect end-of-summer song: gloriously sunny folk-rock with a hint of autumnal chill, it makes me giddy with anticipation for what’s next from Young Benjamins.
- Pop This - Vancouver, BC

"Pain of the Lovelorn"

A janus-voice from the past — the rich sea of wheat and bison, and the husk of the prairies. These voices come to a head in the tamed pastures of Saskatoon’s suburbs. Kuba Szmigielski’s wicked drumming accelerates the tension of these songs: the wild pull of the first two barely finds resolution in third. I ask, what elicits these yelps and rhythmic chords? The pain of the lovelorn, the isolation of the prairies or the claustrophobia of the closed city gates? This is a bleary radio call from a locked garrison, a wandering signal for the ears - Argue Job - Edmonton, AB

"Young Benjamins CD review"

Our latest review takes us up north to Saskatchewan, Canada. Young Benjamins have blended folk & blues into a refreshing indie sound that is sure to fill the void in your playlist. Although their self-titled EP is just three tracks, it does a great job at showing you the range this band has. It starts out upbeat with a western tinge of rhythmic drums and violin, brings you down into some rocking blues, and then dueling vocals carry you to the end. Be ready to hit the replay button.

Be sure to grab their EP available at a name your own price!

TheKnifeFight: Are there any bands/artists that influenced you to become a musician yourself?
Neusha Mofazzali: Absolutely, I could probably list a whole bunch of bands, but if I had to pick a few I would say Hey Rosetta! from Newfoundland and Pink Floyd, but who isn't influenced by Pink Floyd? Also...Queen. I am influenced by local artists in Saskatoon, for example Deep Dark Woods, Father Figures. Canadian music as a whole.

TKF: Is there a story behind the name of the band?
NM: The name comes from Dustin Hoffmans character Benjamin Braddock from the movie "The Graduate". It's my all time favorite movie. I decided to go for that name because my dad would always randomly sing or hum the Simon and Garfunkel songs related to the movie and from an early age I had memorized the entire soundtrack through humming because of him. And because my old girlfriend had a pretty hot mum, that I wanted to be seduced by. Didn't happen.

TKF: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
NM: I enjoy hanging out with my band, they are the coolest people I know. Saskatoon is a quiet place so there is not a whole lot to do other than play music, or go to bars and pubs.

TKF: Favorite dinosaur?
NM: Hmmm the dilophosaurus, you know...that dinosaur that spits on Newman, in Jurassic Park. He's cool. Or she.

TKF: What's next for the band?
NM: Young Benjamins’ are currently planning a States tour in the summer. We are hopefully going to release our album by then too. We recorded our EP and got a strong response from everyone who listened, so an album is pretty much a certainty. We are going to continue to play shows here in Saskatchewan and probably a few more in different provinces till the States tour.

Neusha Mofazzali - Guitar & Vocals
Veronique Poulin - Violin & Vocals
Enver Hampton - Bass
Kuba Szmigielski - Drums

Twitter - The Knife Fight - California, US

"Local Band Takes Self Promotion to the New Level"

Music is hard business. Getting noticed among the slew of offerings by indie rock bands - both online and off - is an arduous and sometimes seemingly impossible task. But one Saskatoon band has taken marketing into their own hands in the most bizarre way imaginable. They are using the online chat service, Chatroulette.

"Me and my drummer would just sit down and grab people and be like 'Hey, check out this EP,' " says Neusha Mofazzali, the frontman for local indie rock group The Young Benjamins.

To understand how unconventional Mofazzali's approach to marketing is, you probably have to understand a little something about Chatroulette. The website connects users via webcam to a rotating cast of complete strangers from around the world. You log in, the stranger can see you and you can see them. If you don't like what you see you simply click onto the next person. It's like a chat room for people with attention deficit disorder. And in true Internet fashion, at least one in eight feeds from Chatroulette involve 'R-rated' content. Which is to say it is not a typical place to get music lovers interested in downloading your album.

"We would just be like 'Don't switch, don't switch, check out this EP'," says Mofazzali. "And people were like, 'cool,' and they downloaded it and started sharing it."

Even stranger than The Young Benjamins' online promotional tactics may be the fact that it is working. So far they have had thousands of online plays and downloads - many of them from people south of the border - who heard about them through Chatroulette.

Mofazzali grew up in England and moved to Saskatoon four years ago to attend university. Back home, he worked with music promotion companies marketing bands like Arctic Monkeys and Kate Nash. But it wasn't until he moved to Saskatoon that he tried out playing music himself.

"Canada has so much great music, I'm really impressed with Canadian bands. It's much better than English music," he says.

Starting out as a two-piece folk project, The Young Benjamins have evolved into a full out rock/folk band. Mofazzali, who acts as the principle singer/songwriter of the group, is flanked by Kuba Szmigielski on drums, Enver Hampton on bass and Veronique Poulin on violin and vocals.

"I would say we are western folk, country, bluegrass, indie - all that jazz. But there is no jazz," Mofazzali says.

The Young Benjamins have added its name to a list of Canadian indie bands which could best be described as feel good music. It's shoe-gazing music, not stadium rock anthems. The addition of Poulin's violin gives the indie rock a country twang, like the Great Lake Swimmers or The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Mofazzali admits his experience in Saskatoon has had a huge influence on his songwriting.

"I take a lot inspiration from local bands like Library Voices and The Deep Dark Woods. Deep Dark Woods are definitely one of the best bands in Saskatoon," he says.

But pinning down the band's sound is hard, even for the man behind the music.

"People say (we sound like) The Strokes, Mumford and Sons, Black Keys. I don't see it myself because I think it's pretty original, but these days you have to compare yourself to something, I guess. Everyone was compared to the Beatles."

The Young Benjamins' first EP is available for download and on CD. The band is planning on releasing its first full length album later this year.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

Read more: - The StarPhoenix

"Radio Interview with Golden West Radio"

CJ 1280 Radio - Jayme Hall- radio host


Less Argue (Dollartone) - May 21, 2013
Bones - Single Release - June 2012
Young Benjamins, Young Benjamins -December, 2011



Young Benjamins hail from the sunny streets of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Fronted by 22 year-old Neusha Mofazzali, the group brandish contemporary folk songs with blistering flourishes and math-rock arrangements. Mofazzali, the grandson of Iranian farmers, was born and raised in London, England but moved to the prairies alongside his parents in the face of the recession. Any hint of his accent all but disappears when he steps to the microphone with a croon that is wise beyond his years. Young Benjamins is rounded out by Francophone artist Vaero Poulin (violin/keys/vocals), recognized as ''best instrumentalist'' in the Planet S 2012 'Best Of' edition, Kuba Szmigielski (drums/percussion), and Brynn Krysa (bass).

Young Benjamins have shared the stage with Wintersleep, The Wooden Sky,Rah Rah, Wilderness of Manitoba, Del Barber, Shotgun Jimmy, July Talk, Pokey LaFarge, The Beauties and Octoberman to name a few. They performed at the 2012 Regina Folk Festival supporting Austra and Stars.

''Its a kooky but melodic kitchen-sink mix of folk, rock and roots. This is what musical talent sounds like, folks.'' Planet S Magazine

''Young Benjamins have blended folk & blues into a refreshing indie sound that is sure to fill the void in your playlist.''

In December of 2011 Young Benjamins released a self-titled 3 song EP that offered a glimpse into the bands potential. In the summer of 2012, they released the infectious single, Bones with a bonus live recording of Move, Move on their revamped EP. Their forthcoming debut LP, Less Argue, is set to be released in Canada May 21st, 2013.

Band Members