For the Fragile and Fighting: Clara Benin Unveils New EP, ‘I Rose Up Slowly’

Oct 29, 2019

The indie powerhouse embraces vulnerability and tells her listeners to always look on the bright side through her most personal record to date.

At times, the distance from the point where you fall down and the moment where you can stand on your feet again can seem too far and wide. But for Clara Benin, traversing this road slowly but surely isn’t too bad a thing. 

With her latest five-track EP “I Rose Up Slowly,” the 25-year-old indie powerhouse offers her audience a poignant sonic experience as she sings about the intricate beauty of holding on and never giving up.

“[The EP] came from a very personal experience and it’s just all about choosing to rise up from whatever ‘fall’ you’ve encountered. It’s just about choosing yourself and choosing to look on the bright side,” she mused during her Wish Bus gig last October 15. 

Bearing her distinctive spell-binding voice and poetic melodies, Benin’s latest EP came four years since she released her acclaimed efforts “Human Eyes” and “Riverchild.” It is also an apt comeback after she announced her indefinite hiatus back in 2016.

Endearing Uplifting Tunes

“I Rose Up Slowly” opens with “Airplane Mode,” a song acknowledging how “sometimes we have to switch off everything and just be still.” Starting off slowly, this tune takes off and brings in propulsive beats halfway; it sets the direction for the rest of the record, which is all about taking listeners to a different dimension — one where they can “take a pause and just breathe for a bit.”

In “Tightrope,” Benin greets listeners with gentle guitar riffs. Contrasting this beautifully is her rather heavy lyricism, which warns people about how one would have to be brave in order to keep up with someone who is scared and has self-doubt.

However, unlike the said track — which presents restless images like being a hurricane and a thunderstorm — the succeeding song, “Wrestle,” is about sojourning towards one’s self and finding where he or she truly belongs.

The penultimate cut in Benin’s latest offering is the titular track “I Rose Up Slowly.” Achingly raw and beautiful, this song sums up what it means to be fragile and be a fighter at the same time — the song’s narrator rises from the wreckage of miseries, albeit doing it at a slow pace.

Capping off the EP is “OMW (Back Home),” the most upbeat of the five cuts in the singer-songwriter’s newest record. If the opener “Airplane Mode” is about taking a break, “OMW” is about redeeming one’s self, coming to terms with who he or she is, and getting back on track. 

Embracing Vulnerability

When asked about what makes “I Rose Up Slowly” stand out from her past works, the OPM indie star shared that she took the time to put the songs together.

“It’s very different, I think, because I really took my time. I didn’t want to rush things. I really put my time to write and arrange and record each song. It’s very special,” she spoke of the EP, which was produced by musician Nick Lazaro.

On her social media pages, Benin further described “I Rose Up Slowly” as “her most personal and vulnerable record” to date. It’s a collective ode to hope, and with this, she wishes to give her listeners strength and help them be brought back to light.

The personal experiences that Benin carefully slipped into the EP’s songs — together with the patience she devoted to make the record — make it an even more endearing OPM offering. However, she still admits that sharing such personal thoughts can still be challenging.

“I think my music is very personal and very vulnerable. When you put yourself in a very vulnerable position in front of everyone, it’s scary. That’s something I wrestle with all the time,” she enthused.

True enough, to be an artist itself is an act of bravery. And this is what Benin proves, once again, in “I Rose Up Slowly” as she shares pieces of herself with the world. Stream the EP below:

Watch her Wishclusive performance of the effort’s titular track below:

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