Track Review

Track Review: Highway Boys // Anne Bennett

Growing up in Salem, the iconic Halloween Capital of the world, it somehow makes sense that singer-songwriter Anne Bennett has a haunting sound. Her music wraps listeners in an ethereal blanket drifting along on a hazy sonic river, but where did it all begin? Inspired by the likes of PJ Harvey and Mariah Carey, Anne Bennett is a forceful, feisty and independent singer who hardly follows trends. Genre-defying, every one of Anne’s singles has a different style and sound so it’s hard to categorise this artist. One of the most recent singles from her critically acclaimed discography is ‘Highway Boys’.

Following the well-received rock-inspired track ‘Heavy Hand’, ‘Highway Boys’ has a reminiscence to the synth-pop and post-punk styles of the 1980s. What I find most intriguing about Anne Bennett is not the richness of her vocals or the flowing melodies but her diversity as an artist. While ‘Heavy Hand’ had a classic rock style with Joan Jett-esque vocals, ‘Highway Boys’ adopts the otherworldliness of Stevie Nicks with a contemporary twist.

As I mentioned, Anne Bennett’s melodies are harmonious but in various ways. Synth-driven with dynamic guitars and drums underlying the misty melodic ambience, ‘Highway Boys’ presents a steadiness within the kaleidoscopic soundscape. While Anne’s voice has a sense of warmth behind the tone, its wistful melding with the soothing melody brings an intensity to the song. It always amazes me how something simplistic can be far more impactful than the tunes filled with “bells and whistles”; Anne Bennett proves this in ‘Highway Boys’.

Yes, the tune has a fragile grace in its tone which might imply a melancholic reflection, but this is not the case with ‘Highway Boys’. Connecting with listeners on a deeper level, Anne shares that “my new song is about freedom and living on the edge, escaping the past and the mundane”. Teetering on the cusp of reflective sensitivity and empowering independence, Anne Bennett elegantly invites us on her journey to something better. I’m game, are you?

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