Tony® Award-winning actress, singer, author and activist LAURA BENANTI today shares her sultry new music video for the track “Go Slow,” featuring guitarist Pasquale Grasso – watch here. Filmed at The Leroy House in New York City, Benanti seductively croons to the tune played by Grasso in a series of intimate black-and-white vignettes, displaying yet another side of the singer. “Go Slow” stands out as the latest single to be released from her acclaimed self-titled debut album Laura Benanti – available everywhere now from Sony Music Masterworks.
Earlier this month, Benanti she took the stage at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for a captivating performance of “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” – watch here.
The record also continues to garner critical praise. American Songwriter claimed, “Benanti makes already timeless songs feel even more alive and vibrant.” Meanwhile, Broadway World called it “as glorious a debut release on a major record label can get” and went on to add, “Each song is performed to perfection, making the album a treasure for fans of light, ambient jazz records or for fans of Benanti herself.”
The 11-track album features the versatile artist performing a mix of covers both classic and contemporary, breathing new spirit into everything from modern pop songs to jazz-influenced ballads.
“I hope the album becomes a part of someone’s own canon,” says LAURA BENANTI of her major label debut album. “You could put it on at a dinner party or listen to it in the bath. It could speak to so many different possible moments. Across the board, the record really fulfills my desire for musical outreach. I tried to showcase some really great playing—and hopefully singing.”
With her self-titled full-length debut, Laura Benanti constructs a diverse and dynamic solo statement, working alongside award-winning producer Matt Pierson (Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny, Jane Monheit), arranger Gil Goldstein and a bevy of seasoned musicians on the album. Through and through, the process highlighted every side of Laura’s voice.
“We definitely talked about the songs as characters,” she explains. “As an actor, I’m used to becoming and embodying other people. So, it was important for me to play the role each song required. I drew on different shades of my voice and personality to tell different stories.”
The first story came to life on the album’s lead single, a cover of the Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” released earlier this year. Above swinging piano, electric guitar, and finger-snaps, she transports Jonas Brothers’ comeback smash to a smoky thirties jazz haunt with sultry and sizzling soul. Laura paired the release of the track with an accompanying music video featuring workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis as part of a moving tribute celebrating family and essential workers – watch here. Proceeds from the track benefit FoodCorps—an organization which ensures kids who rely on school food get fed during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Laura transforms Selena Gomez’s “Lose You To Love Me” into a bold ballad backed by resounding strings and a powerhouse vocal performance. “When I heard Gil’s arrangement, I was so moved by it,” she recalls. “I was able to personalize the story for myself. I can hear the evocative nature of that memory in my voice, and I hope other people feel the same way.” She drew inspiration from Rosemary’s Clooney version of “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” to track her own tender take and carefully chose “The Party’s Over” from the 1956 musical Bells Are Ringing as a gorgeous denouement to the album. Elsewhere, accordion pipes through her reimagining of Rufus Wainwright’s “Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk,” which she relates to as devilishly conjuring “my twenties when I got in some trouble.” She also delivers a “fun interpretation of the anti-love song” by flipping Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” on its head.