Recent North Central College grad Lucas Bennett is all about experimenting.
It shows in his project Of Thought and Feeling’s two new songs — the instrumental jam “Apricot” and the more classically-infused pop song “Turquoise.”
A former music composition student, whose previous performance background was in progressive metal band atlasaria, Bennett made it clear with the two releases that he is into trying out something new.
“I just love mixing jazz with rock, and the first half of ‘Apricot’ is just a jam,” he said. “But on the classical side of it with the string arrangements in the second half, it is definitely more composed. The strings just aren’t playing the same thing anymore. I kind of break them up and give them different lines, and the piano kind of takes the spotlight a little bit more with different melodic lines here and there.”
When Bennett first released Of Thought and Feeling’s first EP last fall, he took his music in a different direction, stepping away from his metal roots and introducing more alternative themes into the single “Against the Tide.”
This time around, he was influenced by pop artists when he started writing “Turquoise.”
After watching a video about chord progression in music by Beyoncé and Rihanna, he was intrigued and tried tackling that challenge. What came out was a pop song layered with classical themes and topped by a poem he wrote to his girlfriend.
“It’s a very sweet, kind of tender song,” he said.
And while born of different genres, both “Apricot” and “Turquoise” complement each other stylistically.
The accompanying video showcases him on piano joined by Peter Szpytek on bass, Omar Garcia on drums and longtime friend and musical collaborator Rob Lowman featured in a solo on cello. Filmed as a performance video at NCC’s Wentz Concert Hall, the atmosphere elevates the song with a sense of elegance. But it’s also infused with a sense of fun and excitement.
“At one point, all four of us on stage kind of gave each other a look. I don’t know who said it first, but someone was like, ‘We’re actually playing music together.’ Obviously none of us had played with people onstage for a year,” Bennett said. “It was a weird feeling, but it was awesome and felt so good to play with other musicians, even though it was just a music video shoot.”
Of Thought and Feeling was brought to life by Bennett not long before the pandemic lockdowns, working with friends and session musicians. But he said he’d definitely be interested in figuring out how to bring his music to the stage.
“At that point, I would have to gather the troops and see who would be willing or who would be interested in kind of thing,” he said. “But I think we could pull it off. I think it would be a lot of fun.”