San Francisco singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Said Sara, aka David Benson, is coming full-circle.
Said Sara is a genuine extension of Benson’s essence. As a child of the 70’s, he grew up on the singer-songwriters of that era of emergence: Baez, Stevens, Croce, Taylor, Buckingham, Mitchell. But Benson was/is a metalhead and a punk (yes, both) in the 80s, 90s and beyond. In 2008, he joined crust punk-turned death metal warhorse Acephalix, of which he remains the drummer. He also currently sits behind the kit for post-hardcore vs. electronic noise denomination Plaguestate.
There is a 2-way passage between the poppy, acoustic-rooted Said Sara and the aforementioned strains of sonic extremity: Transition. David spent 15 years as guitarist/vocalist-turned vocalist of this genre-obscuring clique, whose sole full-length, 1994’s Spine, was released by Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn’s ultra-legendary SST Records.
Passion-project turned compulsory infatuation, Said Sara will play live in 2021. Initial performances will be of the stripped-down nature, though expansions in any direction are certainly possible. Said Sara, from its inception, has been driven by unrestricted instinct. It is formed of true heart and avidity, and its confinements are few.
Single 'Bleedways' dropped everywhere on May 14, 2021. Previous releases: single 'I Star As You' and eponymous EP (both available everywhere).
Music and lyrics by David Benson
David Benson: voice, acoustic guitar, banjo, electric bass guitar, electronics/programming
Recorded and mixed by David Benson at The Depths, San Francisco, California
Mastered by Jesse Nichols at The Atomic Garden West, Oakland, California
Cover image by Jacob Reeder @subspecies_art
"What a wonderfully little odd duck of a song this is. The vocals are pure folk-punk and the guitar playing is classic 70’s singer-songwriter. Banjo and piano come in on the choruses and shove it over into the folk-punk realm and then out of nowhere a boomy drum loop leads you into a Zeppelin III-esque bridge that morphs into a synth wood flute part. And yet, it all works somehow for what we’re calling prog-folk-punk." -Postcard Elba (USA)
"a mad fusion of genres" - Tongue Tied Magazine (USA)
"A strong and representative song, a powerful and energetic voice, perfectly combined with the guitar, reminded us of the Rolling Stones, a delightful to hear, authentic and joyful rock, with an innovative folk chorus, we love it so much." -Indie Dock (UK)
"The moment the song begins and the lead vox cuts through the moody strumming it straight away gives off that Led Zeppelin kind of acoustic vibe, with a more husky vox appeal. Appreciate the raw, unfiltered execution as well as the thematic lyrical work. Clearly you have a flair for such an interesting musical motif. The banjo adds warmth through the buildup. Once the song transitions to a rather psych-pop-tinged atmosphere it gives off a curious, immersive tone. Ultimately the coda hints at some Ben Howard folk character." -Unxigned (Czech Republic)
"We can't find the right category for Said Sara, which of course makes it interesting. I more than appreciate "Out of the box" tracks. So we have to say Achtung: Somewhere in the dark, where pop folk ends and alternative starts you can find Said Sara, but only at that moment." - Nene's Butler, (Austria)
"newest single "Bleedways" is a song with a dark folk touch, although it brings elements of progressive. It is from those songs that the guy takes a guitar and shares his soul, under a somber, melancholy poetry, not in a way to feel sorry for himself, but for those who face the truth of things as it really is. Perhaps because Benson was born during the 70s and accompanied metal and punk, a time when the essence prevailed, and the music was written with an open truth." -Roadie Music (Brazil)
"(David's) amazing sound is full of his energy, pressure and creativity. The recently released single 'Bleedways' is clear proof of this.
The composition can be divided into two musical parts. In the first, Said Sara reveals the motif of the song with the help of an acoustic guitar in the folk format of Jimmy Page's acoustic search of the early 70s. The author of the song 'Bleedways' suports the acoustic rhythm in a hardcore manner with drive vocals and this combination is interesting from the point of view of combining the incompatible.
In the second part of the composition, Said Sara suddenly turns into an electronic dark with a smooth minimalist rhythm and free speech. In just 4 minutes we hear a whole fusion of compositional solutions and talented arrangements.
Said Sara's charisma is also in his own vision of music and fearless to experiment." -Indie Dock (UK)
"Said Sara brings us one of those songs that sounds of pure honesty - a song that does not need computerized effects to express strong emotions in our head. What we find on Bleedways is a reason to scream internally and release all our emotion under the banner of Said Sara. In a correct combination of indie passion and intense desire -- because we get into the raw and honest emotion of Said Sara." -Indie Criollo (Colombia)
"A fully engaging track exploring aspects of folk, pop, and prog-rock, singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist David Benson again exhibits a knack for creative structural twists and a passionate performance, in this follow-up to last year’s eponymous EP.
The track’s first minute builds steadily with a stirring acoustical backbone amidst ardent vocals, followed by escalating vocals and added guitar pluckiness. A fun twist around 02:13 reminds fondly of XTC with its suavely concise vocal tone and intriguing guitar resonance. A vocal rise approaching the three-minute mark leads to lovely woodwind-like pushes alongside the acoustical stirring. “Bleedways” is further evidence of Benson’s ability to keep listeners thoroughly engaged via a blend of styles alongside an ever-evolving song structure." -Obscure Sound (USA)
"The great impact of the track's gripping heartfelt emotional vocals coupled with the piercing touch of the guitar and banjo makes for a really captivating listen" -Unedrrated (Russia)
"You can feel that the music is more of a journey than something you sit back into. Every note encourages you to take another step along the path that Benson is laying out for you. Some of these steps are harder than others with some being a playful skip that is utterly delightful to listen to.
Each word is a cobblestone leading you on a personal journey. There is a touch of pain laced into the passionate performance that tugs at your heart.
His vocals pave the way for this journey while piecing together everything that makes us who we are." -The Other Side (Germany/UK)
"Heart and honesty behind the melodies. The rawness, that really speaks to me" -The Sonic Blender/CILU Radio (Canada)
"There is a cultivated roughness to Sara’s punchy and concise vocal gestures, the graveled timbre of his punk and metal imbued voice, the sincerity of his almost percussive guitar playing, and the compelling simplicity of his banjo rolls. It is hard not to sense a feeling of restless interiority within the hypnotic instrumental accompaniment, expressive singing, and occasional shout, a paradoxical tension between a deep inner experience and a richly communicative musical language." -Jacob Jahiel of Rising Artists (USA)
Official Lyric Video for 'I Star As You'
Said Sara - 'The Heart'
Said Sara - 'For Anyone' Video