BENEE Opens Up About Her Mental Health on "Doesn't Matter"
Photo: Lula Cucchiara
The past odd year-and-half has likely been a perplexing one for New Zealand breakout star BENEE. It is a period of time that saw her reveling in the euphoria of a viral, to-be platinum single and critically-lauded debut album, hey u x, while at the same time navigating a nigh-universal increased sense of isolation and self-awareness spurred on by global pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. This dizzying cocktail of highs and lows builds the emotional undercurrent of BENEE's latest single, "Doesn't Matter."
In many ways, "Doesn't Matter" perfectly mirrors BENEE's original breakout hit "Supalonely." While the former tackled feelings of isolation in idyllic fashion that contrasted the melancholic undertone of the lyrical subject matter, "Doesn't Matter" takes a much more direct approach, presenting an unfiltered, heartfelt look at "invisible" mental health disorders.
Built around a striking minimalistic soundscape that is brought to life by a steady drumbeat and ethereal guitar, "Doesn't Matter" moves at its own serene pace. It's a bittersweet daydream come to life, as BENEE muses on a reality free of obtrusive, unwanted, or racing thoughts. "Although my fears are real/The things I fear are not," sings the artist in trademark, suddenly heartbreaking lilt.
BENEE originally announced the single on World Mental Health Day, sharing in a vulnerable Instagram post, "It seems like a very long time since I've released any music. This year has been very difficult for me and many other people, and I've had times that I've really felt my lowest. I wrote 'Doesn’t Matter' during one of these periods when I felt truly overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck. I was diagnosed with OCD, which actually helped me understand myself better. This song ponders on what it would be like to feel truly carefree and how much easier life would be. Sometimes, it's hard for people who don't suffer from anxiety or depression to really understand what it's like for us. People telling you not to worry or saying 'It doesn't matter' don't understand that it's not that simple. Having had help to learn how to deal with my own anxiety and depression, I want others to know that there is a way through."
Listen to "Doesn't Matter" below: