Marco Benevento has been cranking out gloriously eclectic and joyously melodic music on his own and as a member of the Benevento-Russo Duo for more than a decade now. And yet, during all that time, he’s never released an album focused on vocal performances. One assumed this was because he had a lousy voice, and since he was so highly skilled and brilliantly experimental as a keyboardist, composer and manipulator of the sonic terrain, he probably figured he’d stick with what he knew best.
Well, as it turns out, Benevento can sing. In fact, he can craft a full album around indelible and often joyous vocal hooks, create a highly specified and unique strain of pop music, and still retain the deep strain of virtuosity that made him so special in the first place. “Swift,” Benevento’s latest effort, and his first vocal album – named after the album’s co-producer Richard Swift, a classy move by Benevento – is a house party of a collection, an album touched by an infectious giddiness that balances its willful psychedelia and a playfulness that counters the fact that this is seriously brilliant music.
Benevento will bring his “Swift” tour to town for a show at 8 p.m. Saturday in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Suitcase Junket also performs. Tickets are $12 advance, $18 day of show (box office, Ticketfly.com).
– Jeff Miers