Benedict – Finish The Wine

January is often the month of detox. After Christmas excess, we all make conscious decisions to stop eating as much cheese and go on mini health sprints that last at least until the second week of the month. Then, the dullness of our diets combined with the sheer, building pressure of work leads us to scream out for more beige food. We crack open the alcohol again – those days are just around the corner. 

I once lasted until January 23rd in detox mode. It’s a record of which I’m quite proud. Now, I don’t bother to make resolutions. 

In these detox days, one could be forgiven for thinking that Benedict’s ‘Finish The Wine’ is a statement urging us to throw caution to the wind. Life isn’t fun with lockdowns so we should at least empty the fridge and cupboards before making commitments to healthy living. Sadly, it’s anything but. 

“Finish The Wine is a Mrs Robinson 2020 (theme from The Graduate),” says Martijn Smits, the main man behind the Dutch Act, Benedict. “The song tells the story of a young man having dinner with a woman a little older than he is. The game is on, the dinner is nice, they totally fall for each other but neither of them wants to show their cards. He willingly believes all her lies to get her into bed.”

I ask Martijn if the story is true and he confirms its veracity which piques the interest of this curious bugger. 

The song has been out for some time. It’s one of the key tracks on Benedict’s fine album, ‘You Can Tell Me Nothing That I Should’, that saw the light of day in 2020. The album is well worth a listen (if your detox is getting you down) drawing on clear influence from the likes of The National and Tindersticks to create a cinematic gem. 

But Benedict has recently been releasing a set of videos recordings songs from the album in a live setting. And it’s the subtle variations in these recordings that truly demonstrate the power of the songs; the lyrics come more to the fore along with an intensity of vocal. The arrangements, simpler than on the record, seem practiced and perfected. 

‘Finish The Wine’ was the first of these videos to be released with a further live video for ‘When We Were Young’ getting an airing as a Christmas Day present. 

It’s better than a January diet.