Timesheet

by Benedict Moleta

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about

Benedict's fifth album, Timesheet, was released in April 2010.

Benedict's five-piece band plays throughout the album, and a number of long-term collaborators contribute to individual tracks.

Rosemary Halsmith: glockenspiel and keyboard
Harry Kneen: bass
Daniel Marano: field recordings
Sam Scherr: electric guitar
Cameron Sim: pedal steel guitar
Lily Sumich: drums
Lorraine Sumich: Hammond and keyboards
Benedict Moleta: acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and singing

Recorded and engineered by Alan Smith, mastered by Scott Simms.

Some album reviews are below.

"An industrious collaborator and low-key solo artist for the past decade, lanky Perth singer-songwriter Benedict Moleta isn't well known in the rest of Australia. But if that's ever going to change, it'll be thanks to his hour-long fifth album. On it, Moleta paints scene after detailed scene, piling on heady descriptions in a voice that's hushed, airy and pristinely delivered. Leading a five-piece setup with cameos from additional guests, he erases the line between story and song, recalling most often the intricate narratives of the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle. There's a nearly constant stream of words and yet each of these 13 songs proves understated and quietly catchy.

As a lyricist, Moleta is preoccupied by remembrance as well as the various catalysts for it. He specifically cites 1999, 2002, the 1960s, and "1987 or '88", brimming with mentions of silver Celicas, white gum trees in the winter sun, and other evocative images. His words are all the more affecting for being fleshed out meagrely yet tastefully by keyboards, glockenspiel, pedal steel, bass, and drums. Though there's some of the Middle East's stirring quietude in his songs, there are few of that band's inevitable swells. The album's seven-minute opener 'Milk White' features only occasional washes of pedal steel against Moleta's guitar and voice. The second song, 'Believer', commences with such a long guitar passage that you expect it to be an instrumental. The eventual words, though, are indelible, especially this line: 'Believer, how have you kept your mind so clear/Despite blitzing it every Saturday night for so many consecutive years?'

On paper, 13 songs is a few too many for a downbeat singer-songwriter album, but Timesheet is uniformly strong. Highlights abound, from the heartbreakingly minimal 'Greyhound' to the should-be single 'Metal Towers' to the affable glance at the childhood/adulthood divide that is 'Crazy Itch'. Another, 'Lowered Kingswood', hits home with an unlikely image of guitar-armed children learning the 'magic of power chords'. The lyrics are great throughout, as is the music. Beyond the Mountain Goats, I'm reminded at times of the Lucksmiths and Mojave 3. But that's more a matter of kindred spirits than these songs sounding at all derivative.

Moleta won't win any awards for best album cover: Timesheet's stark front simply credits the album's players in all caps. The back cover is also blank white, with just a barcode at the bottom. One assumes then that he wants the album to speak for itself. Given his gracious, vivid way with lyrics, he's earned that right."
- messandnoise.com


"Benedict Moleta has a minimalist, softly spoken aesthetic. His album artwork shows this but his music breathes it. His syrupy guitars and puddly, gentle vocals create a hushed, white-wall atmosphere perfect for lovers of Death Cab For Cutie or Red House Painters. But the comparison is not exact, as Moleta's songwriting seems more mature and less prone to pop affectations - and the fact he's a xylophone fan, which can really win you over with its in-your-bedroom effect.

The verses are like narratives of a children's book for adults: sober, intricate, but filled with kitsch suburban nostalgia. Such is the final verse of Boxlike, where Moleta sings, 'You're not going to end up in a clean white cotton dress / With embroidered flowers sewn across its breast.' Sweepy synth-pianos and acoustic-driven tracks such as Running Sideways help construct this tingly album into the post-folksy listen that it is and a hell of an enjoyable one at that."
- Rave Magazine


"Listen to Benedict Moleta's fifth album and it's like hearing your past played back at you in a sad and sentimental key. You, me, and Moleta: together we've shared this lived experience of love and loss in Western Australia, our hearts rusty with the bore water marks of Moleta's delicately spun narratives.

The relationship between location and emotional familiarity reign supreme in Moleta's delicate music making. Take Believer: after two minutes' worth of layered guitars and shimmering cymbals, the instrumental deadens and Moleta's voice pipes up, opulent in its practiced, unflappable candour: 'If I turn right into this street tonight/I feel like I will be driving/To your girlfriend's house in 2002/When you still had your silver Celica/And I was still getting to know you'.

Timesheet features a collaborative ensemble of Perth musos whose influence is sometimes subtle (Rosemary Halsmith's whimsical glockenspiel in Crazy Itch) but else times transformative: the prominent drums and formal song structure of Minaret take a decidedly pop folk turn (not dissimilar to 2008's Bicoastal).

However, it's tracks like Greyhound, where there is only the sparse backing of gently plucked guitar strings accompanying Moleta's meandering recollections ('we went by different streets the last time we walked/over the gradual hill from my house to yours') that remain Timesheet's highlights. The sheer poetry in this album will floor you."
- X Press magazine

credits

released April 1, 2010

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about

Benedict Moleta Perth, Australia

Benedict Moleta began performing and releasing music in 2001. He has worked with a regular band and a large range of collaborators, as well as playing solo shows. All these configurations are represented on his albums.

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