Singer-songwriter Benjamin Carter, typically known for making R&B music, is sobering up with a new alternative rock sound on his latest single, “FINALLY SOBER (ANGELS CALLING).” A considerable switch in style compared to previous singles, the song came after Carter “told my friends I wanted to make rock Black again.” The result is an effort that bears comparison to other contemporaries, notably Jean Dawson, but is nonetheless a creative exercise that tells a uniquely intimate story detailing Carter’s past struggles.
On all fronts, “FINALLY SOBER” demonstrates a penchant for disregarding musical genres to avoid conformity and embrace music from a myriad of places. More noticeably, the pop-punk sounds evident through the blaring guitars and downtempo drums compliment Carter’s melodies in a way you could only find through later 2000s bands. It might seem jarring for some to see such a switch in sound and aesthetics. But for Carter, he makes the most out of every instrument when breaking from the confines of post-sobriety depression. Even though he’s been making music for just short of 5 years, his points of inspiration run for decades.
The single ends with a cinematic climax completed by layered vocals putting Carter’s full range on display. Yet throughout, he makes the roaring sounds of garage rock seem melodic by nature. It’s why his ability to move from genre to genre isn’t his most versatile; it’s his ability to break genre conventions and flip them on their heads.
Words: David Sosa
“FINALLY SOBER (ANGELS CALLING)” is on all streaming services, as is the visualizer, which can be found on Benjamin Carter’s YouTube channel. Follow Carter on his website and Instagram for new music and tour dates.