Alec Benjamin is one of our generation’s great storytellers. Simultaneously existing as a self-described narrator and a heart-rending songwriter, every one of his tracks provides a glimpse into varied, multi-faceted worlds. The one constant is Benjamin, our lone narrator scoring the entire gorgeous and heartbreaking affair. Today sees our narrator welcoming us into yet another one his storied worlds, one in which there seems to be no escape.
“Mind Is a Prison” follows Benjamin’s acclaimed single “Jesus In LA,” which we championed for its exquisite balancing of religious grandeur and starry-eyed romantics. While “Jesus In LA” saw Benjamin grappling with the reality that LA wasn’t the promised land it first appeared to be, his latest single sees him battling a demon of his own creation. “Mind Is a Prison” is a song that touches upon the existential, questioning what hope remains when our own body, mind feels like a literal confine.
“I’m a prisoner a visitor inside of my brain / And no matter what I do they try to keep me in chains… Alone with my thoughts again / I guess my mind is a prison and I’m never gonna get out,” despairs Benjamin. And while “Mind Is a Prison” is undeniably a moment of profound emotional honesty, it is not one weighed down by an overwhelming feeling of dejection. Rather, Benjamin does what many great storytellers have done before him and transforms his period of hopelessness into a moment of fantastic escapism.
The prison that is our narrator’s mind becomes a literal insurmountable object plagued by desperate endeavors from its sole attempted escapee. This and all of the pockets of hope found throughout Benjamin’s growing body of work begin to explain his innate and universal appeal. We can begin to find our own form of escape in the stories Benjamin so beautifully weaves, and in the process experience the vast gamut of human emotion, from seeming hopelessness to enduring optimism.
Watch the lyric video for “Mind Is a Prison” below: