Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Paul Benoit’s song “Cactus Met the Sky,” from his recently released album Beautiful Lies. Beautiful Lies was produced by Paul Benoit and Jesse Field, and recorded at both the Seattle based Robert Lang Studio and in a cabin on the Olympic Peninsula.
“Cactus Met the Sky” was written, produced and performed by Paul Benoit with Jay Pinto (bass, percussion), recorded and mixed by Jay Pinto at Pinto Productions. The video was produced by Chris Chandler.
Imagery from Paul Benoit’s lyrics, like “the wind blew up your dress” and “plastic bags and crows” and “I want to burn the trash of the past” swirl in with granular film, tangible desert scenes, and decades-old travel footage, creating a time capsule vignette of a video. Benoit’s songwriting combined with Chandler’s filmic production distill a dreamlike realism.
As a well traveled road rat of over 30 years, I have always been inspired by the vast open spaces that is America, so much so that I have collected 100s of old home movies, advertisements and “How To” films from all eras and areas of 20th century America. When I heard Paul’s song I began to search for films from the great Southwest, the part of the country that world travelers romanticize most when they think of US America, where “the cactus meets the sky.” Benoit’s spacious sound and vast open melodies lent themselves well to the grainy, spacious quality of these old home-movie and travel films of the Americana upon which our modern world is built. — Chris Chandler