Traditionally, the punk and pop genres were mutually exclusive with distinctive styles; however, musical fusion in the 21st Century is blurring these lines. Since the late-1990s and early 2000s, pop-punk is a genre embraced by many bands trying to find a balance between the two. While there are success stories, such as Panic! At The Disco, McFly and Fall Out Boy, it is still a complex combination. Ben Kidson is among this group but has a delicacy in his sound unseen in most pop/punk bands. The latest addition to his portfolio is ‘(When I) Runaway.
Hailing from the UK, Ben Kidson was recruited as a writer for a major label at a young age. Embodying the assertive DIY attitude of punk rockers, but placed in a pop environment, Kidson found himself being alienated by the restrictions of the commercial music scene. To remove those restrictions and embrace his inner musician, Kidson locked himself away in Devon constructing a unique sound. The sound was “punk-pop”.
Instead of integrating punk vocals over a pop design, Kidson fused distorted guitars with elements of electronic pop. ‘(When I) Runaway’ is a track that is hypnotic, relatable and compelling. Despite being about loss and fear, Kidson’s bold vocals make the track seem inspirational. The addictive honesty in his voice is only exceeded by the harmonious use of instrumentation. My favourite element in ‘(When I) Runaway’ would have to be the ending. The clarity and simplicity of the acoustic end places one at ease but also emphasises the sincerity of the track. I did not know about Ben Kidson before, but I am so glad I did. I cannot wait to see what else he has up his sleeve.