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Singleton

Benedict's seventh album, entitled Singleton, was released in August 2012.

Benedict worked with a group of new collaborators on the album:
Bill Darby, Andrew Ewing and Scott Tomlinson and Miranda Pollard.

Preview / Buy CD / Download album from Bandcamp

Also available on iTunes

Live videos of songs from the album are on the video page. The songs were filmed at Maylands Yacht Club in March 2012.

The album was recorded, engineered and mastered by Alan Smith.

'Ever the prolific local, Benedict Moleta clearly doesn't waste any time on his minimalist artwork for his albums, instead using his precious seconds to enlist the latest batch of local stalwarts to assist him on each new record. On 'Singleton' he has again chosen wisely for an album that is crammed with pretty little pop songs.

The scene is set early with 'White Roses' finding Andrew Ewing bringing some tasteful and understated electric guitar, but it is inspired recruitment of Miranda Pollard as the perfect foil for the equally gifted vocalist Moleta that steals the show. While Pollard's brother is turning heads in his own band Split Seconds, she would be well advised to continue her time with Moleta as the pair are now responsible for each other's musical high points to date

Ten Bit Tonsil (aka Bill Darby) joins the party for a tune about man's best friend and a defunct Bayswater pizza shop. Who thought Moleta would be responsible for melodic gems as concise as 'Another Hound' ? Each song is as soothing and uplifting like an afternoon sipping your favourite herbal tea.

Moleta has lost none of his folk cool or his gift for an authentic narrative, but along the way has pulled his most immediate and impressive set of tunes for 'Singleton'. The quietly spoken Moleta has indeed found his voice

Four and a half stars.'
- Xpress magazine


'An album a year from prolific, quietly spoken songwriter Benedict Moleta is not out of the ordinary. In fact, it's almost become tradition in this town. His latest record Singleton, however, has arrived even more quickly, barely ten months after the release of the 2011 volume, White Marble Heyday. Singleton's speedy arrival is due in part to its stripped-back arrangements. Moleta's previous few releases saw him collaborate with a full band. When Moleta wrote the songs that were to become Singleton, he felt they suited a more minimal approach.

"There's a lot of room for flexibility and dynamism if you've only got one other person playing the song with you, he says. "Especially when you're playing live. With no drums and no bass, everything is melodic and rhythmical at the same time. Everything's in the two guitars and voices. Isn't that what makes the Everly Brothers so great?" Indeed, it is. And so Moleta set to work with minimal arrangements. Everything about this record is aimed at keeping things simple, down to recording the vocals and his own guitar with just one microphone. It was recorded over two weekends, with tracks appearing in the order the songs were written. He played the songs to friends Scott Tomlinson, Bill Darby and Andrew Ewing. They picked the ones they wanted to play on and the record began to be born. Those familiar with Moleta's body of work will notice the album covers are the same black font on white, with a list of the collaborators at the bottom. The songs for each release benefit from the collaborative process.

"I like playing with new people," Moleta says. "It keeps the songs developing, shows me new things which weren't apparent in the initial melodic or lyrical ideas. Initially I worked on five songs with Bill, five with Andrew and two with Scott. I played them all the songs and they picked the ones they thought they could work with best. There's a fair bit of variety from track to track - you can really feel the presence of different guitar players on the album."

The collaborators on Singleton all have their own projects and bands.

"It's great working with people who have strong musical personalities - that's what I'm attracted to, rather than chasing some kind of stylistic compatibility or shared musical tastes. All the people on this album are songwriters themselves, with their own conceptions of where a song might go, how it can change, how something surprising might be discovered inside it." Extra vocals are also added by Miranda Pollard, no stranger to readers of this magazine. It was her voice that attracted Moleta, rather than her resume. "I just knew that she was a great singer. I asked her if she wanted to give it a shot about a year before the recording sessions, but for one reason or another we only came together a couple of weeks before we recorded the songs. The first time we had a sing together it felt great - I've done a bit of harmony singing before, but this is the first time I've really felt inspired by singing in unison. We've done some shows as a duo recently and will be working on the next album together. It's exciting."

Tomlinson, too, brought his own approach to the record.

"I've known Scott for ten years and have always liked his work. I've wanted to do something with him for ages. With the other guys I rehearsed the songs regularly over the course of 2011, but Scott preferred to work on the songs alone, using demo recordings. I think his approach was very measured and thoughtful. And the harmony singing he does on one of the songs is magic." They say the devil is in the detail, and when it's all stripped back, the details speak for themselves.'
-Drum Media


'Benedict Moleta is a musician who is never content to sit still.

Moleta's phenomenal voice has guided the way through a prolific catalogue filled with songs of satire, heartache and novelty, manifested in six critically acclaimed albums. The talented troubadour's latest offering Singleton comes less than a year after his 2011 volume White Marble Heyday. As Moleta attests, this quick turnaround was due, in part, to a more minimalist instrumental approach. "Most of the songs on the album were written in a short period of time over the summer of 2010/2011. Most of them are quite short, and as they were accumulating it didn't seem like any of them suited a full band. Because of this I thought they'd work well with just one other guitarist, and hopefully some vocal harmonies," he explains. "For a couple of songs on the last album I tried a new way of recording my voice and guitar which worked well; using just one single microphone, and setting it up at a bit of a distance, so that you're not singing directly into it. I liked the balanced sound that came out of this microphone setup, so we used it throughout the new album."

Despite aiming for a simplistic sound, Moleta enlisted the help of a few other prominent local musicians to help flesh out his tunes. "I feel lucky to keep finding people who want to play the songs with me. I've known Andrew Ewing, Bill Darby and Scott Tomlinson in different ways over the years, so I got in touch and asked if they'd be keen to try working on some songs together. I love the way Andrew plays guitar. Bill's done a lot of different things over the years and has a very thoughtful approach to arrangements, and I've always been a fan of Scott Tomlinson's songwriting," he says. "Andrew and I have developed a really nice playing rapport, and he's working on the songs for the next album with me now. Bill developed some great guitar lines and does some nice harmony singing, and Scott transformed one of the songs with some beautiful ebow guitar playing, as well as singing harmonies with me.

"I didn't know Miranda Pollard at all, and didn't follow her work in New Rules For Boats. But I heard some of her solo material and thought she was a great singer and songwriter. She actually only rehearsed the songs a couple of times before the recording session, but I think we've got something exciting going on. We've done a few shows as a duo now, and she's going to work on the next album with me."

Over 12 songs, Moleta showcases his wild imagination, vast vocal range and incredible mastering of songwriting. "A lot of my songs are about things I've done with my friends over the years, or about people who have been important to me at different times," he explains. "But not everything's autobiographical - some of these songs are about people I'd like to meet but haven't had the chance to. Like Nadine Garner - I've written two songs about her now."'
-Xpress Magazine


Photograph by Darren Clayton