7th SENSE recently unveiled their debut album ‘Light In Chaos’. The multi-talented Bucharest outfit led by bassist Laura Benedek combines fresh jazz compositions with groove-driven music and improvisation.
Among its members are Laura Benedek (bass), Sergiu Bivol (trumpet), Lucas Contreras (guitar), Adi Stoenescu (Fender Rhodes) and Gabi Matei (drums). In addition to the core lineup, the album features notable musicians from the UK, such as Glasgow-based trombonist – Liam Shortall and Peckham-based percussionist – Will Fry, as well as from Romania, like jazz singer – Luiza Zan and saxophonist – Alexandru Arcuș.
The journey to create and release the album has been crazy and long for the band. ‘Light In Chaos’ was recorded over five days back in October 2020, but issues with post-production and differences of opinions with the studio saw Benedek shelve the recording in June last year. Laura had a conversation with her friend Luiza Zan who found a new studio where they started the process of rerecording the album from the scratch. Happily, Laura’s vision of the album came to fruition, and the record is now out for the world to enjoy.
A big thanks to Laura for giving up her time; I know she is super busy promoting the record at the moment.
Listen to the album in full here, and read Laura’s complete track-by-track commentary below.
In addition, if you purchase the album now, you will receive a booklet written by Laura and Sergiu containing personal stories and pictures taken at various shows over the years.
Sergiu, our trumpet player, composed this one after reading Murakami’s trilogy “1Q84”. He was inspired by a recurring element which appears throughout the books, namely the two moons and the concept behind them. Choosing it as the opening song of the album was quite easy, because it’s the perfect introduction and welcoming on our journey. A representation of the two worlds and moods you will encounter along the way. The good and the bad, the best of both worlds.
This is the first song I ever composed and it was born after I received some news that involved one of my teachers and some colleagues of mine. A moment where I felt completely left out and that hurt quite a lot. After spending 6 months in Germany, I had a really tough time returning to Bucharest and back then all I wanted and wished for was to feel that I belong somewhere. But I didn’t. So this song came out of a place of pain, but also of hope that from now on I’ll be able to access this safe place I created and take refuge in it whenever I needed.
‘Wild Birds’ is the first song we composed together and instantly caught people’s attention. Even now it still is the most fun to play and the song that the audience connects the most with. The main inspiration for this one goes back to when I was listening to lots of Ezra Collective, Kokoroko and Sons of Kemet. With that in mind my wish was to bring that kind of energy into our own song, thinking about how we could connect and interact with the audience and make them feel good and up on their feet dancing.
Probably one of the most personal songs we wrote. Shortly after we formed as a band I knew that I wanted to compose a song that represents exactly how I’ve been feeling after I came back to Bucharest from my Erasmus exchange in Leipzig. But to be even more precise, how I felt during my 4 years at university…or actually how we all felt. I think everyone who’s ever been enrolled in an art institution knows what I’m talking about. And I can tell you that what I hoped and dreamed to be the best experience of my life turned out into the most traumatising period of my life. To dig even deeper in this frustrating environment I wanted to feature the dominant, German male voice that is telling negative and inappropriate things – basically real stuff that teacher’s told me during my uni years. At the same time this song is also about letting it all out and freeing yourself from all the negative energy you’ve been feeding yourself up with.
This song is dedicated to a very special person and friend. She believed in me since day one. The person I hoped to have at uni but didn’t. She is someone who supported every crazy idea of mine and gave me the opportunity and freedom to experiment. She never gave up on me. She saw me at my worst and saw me at my best. My support and my light during the most chaotic years of my life. Gratitude is not a good enough word so that’s why I told the guys that we have to compose a song for her. She helped us as a band and she constantly helps the local jazz community and literally everybody. In my opinion the most beautiful song we have and that we wrote together.
‘Almost Five’ is probably the only song from the album that wasn’t planned and didn’t have any concept or theme behind it. I always tell people that it’s a pre-rehearsal jam that turned into a song, because that’s what actually happened. Everyone came up with something, connected to each other’s vibe and then we only put the pieces together and built the song up. It’s quite a special song from many points of view and I’m very proud of it and its journey and it’s the song that made us believe that we can fly and achieve our dreams.
LIGHT IN CHAOS
The theme of our album, the theme of our journey, the only phrase that kept me going last year when I thought I’m going crazy and that there’s no way out of it, the words that guide my everyday life and the message I want to share with you and everybody around the world. I really do believe that the title defines what happens throughout the song and it creates the perfect balance between these two worlds. Taking our journey as a band into consideration, but also everything that I’ve been through in the past few years, there couldn’t have been a more fitting album title. And my hope and goal is that this message will also reach and help out as many of you as possible! No matter how hard it gets there’s always a light we can cling onto in all the chaos that is surrounding us!
This song is the most personal one. I composed this in a pretty confusing and insecure time of my life. I was part of a theatre and music project, where Luiza mentored us. She knew my story and she wrote these verses and this came out. Last year it became even more relevant after everything that I’ve been through and I knew right away that this song is the one that completes the album. It’s the song that describes me perfectly and probably always will, no matter where I’ll find myself in life. It’s more me than words will ever be able to describe.
Last song we composed together. It’s about a place where you feel the most safe, where you can recharge yourself, hide and not feel guilty about anything. It can be a place or it can be a person, it can be a memory or a feeling, whatever you relate to and makes you feel at home. Somewhere you know you can turn to no matter what and when. A sense of community and belonging. That’s the message of this song and with this album version I really tried to bring that across. Every single person who played or sang throughout the album is on this track. I wanted to finish the record with a positive message because it’s a celebration of everything that we’ve been through and now a living proof that in the end, no matter how hard and unbearable life sometime gets, light always wins.