Press / Reviews


Praise for Openhearts

“soul-baring, heartfelt and well-crafted, in all the ways I’ve come to expect from Tommy and The Fallen Horses.”– Nick Bollinger



“A strong collection of songs. Very slick.” –


Praise for Isolation Is The New Party


“So few words, so much to rave about. Astonishing. Buy it. Clever. Dazzling. Engaging. Felice Brothers. Genius. Humorous. Iron & Wine. Jayhawks. Kiwi classic. Love (as in, I’m in). Mesmerising. No 1. Observant. Passionate. Quintessential. Repeat play. Springsteen. Thanks. Uplifting. Vital. Wry. X-factor. Yes, yes, yes. Zero filter. In 30-odd years of reviewing music, this is the most satisfying album I have ever had the pleasure of listening to by a bunch of Kiwi musicians. iPod essential: Cushions” Mike Alexander – Sunday Star Times



“Indescribable… I recommend you listen.” Pete Coleman – The Press


“Warm acoustic guitars, and twangy electric ones, earthy keyboards and a vocal delivery that at times recalls Bruce Springsteen and at other times Neil young… These are terrific songs, brutally honest yet beautifully crafted, with choruses that catch just like a chorus should… Both personal and poetic… His voice has a fragility at times that reminds me of the fine American songwriter Ray Lamontagne yet there’s also a hardy resilience that comes through. Isolation Is The New Party should establish him as one of this country’s classiest songwriters” Nick Bollinger – National Radio



“Tommy Benefield is an honest and poetic songwriter and this album is sure to perk up anyone who is cynical about the talent of New Zealand songwriters. Folk hunting for a mix of Americana, alt-country and indie-pop will be fulfilled. Benefield has put together 15 well-crafted songs with poetic lyrics, earthy vocals and the fullness of acoustic guitars, percussion, piano, organ, great harmonies and harmonica. Tracks like Dead Poet and Take Tonight have the same feeling of time and space as Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska or Devils and Dust albums. Babe I’m Just Scared and Covenant Maker have a Dave Matthews vocal drama about them, while In The Middle of the Day is reminiscent of Neil Young’s disheveled early days. There is a true originality and heartfelt meaning to these songs, which shines through in Houston and Cushions – the catchiest song by far, with its clever melodies, soulful harmonies and odd lyrics.” Alice Cowdrey – The Press



“exceptionally solid” Jon Andrew – CANTA Magazine


“These are songs about people struggling to survive, emotionally and physically. They are about fear: of time, life, even words. .. Yet there is an unquenchable optimism that bursts out…Benefield’s generosity as a performer, and willingness for others to find the common experience in his music, have compelled him to write a bunch of songs that, like hardy radio perennials, everyone can feel they own. Listen to Isolation is the New Party and I’d be surprised if the hooks aren’t still running through your head days later.” Nick Bollinger – The Listener


“the shelves of the CD racks in my house are about to be happy again” Simon Sweetman – The Dominion Post



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