Alec Benjamin is taking us back to “1994” with his latest release. The 24-year-old pop singer’s new single, which dropped Thursday (Nov. 1), takes listeners on a journey through life’s slowly evident heaviness through the eyes of someone born in the early ’90s.
Benjamin opens his vivid narration with “This is where I broke a wrist/ Where I thought I could fly/ Thinking I was Superman/ So you know you can’t cry/ Because I wanted to be just like them/ And save my city from crime.” The rest of the acoustic guitar-driven verse is chock-full of recollections, mentioning decade-specific details like MTV’s music videos and Campbell’s soup.
After the transitional chorus, in which Benjamin sites his titular birth year, he continues the story by reflecting on the weighty reality of growing up. He recognizes that the world is less magical and more violent than he realized when he was young, specifically hinting that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an awakening moment for him.
The bridge confirms the song’s nationalistic undertones, with Benjamin chiming, “My country ’tis of thee,” as he reflects on the results of the past. He ties it up with a final “I was born in 1994” chorus, the prominent electronic beat guiding him toward the end.
Benjamin previously proved his rising success with the poignant “Let Me Down Slowly” earlier this year. His ballad gained more than 85 million streams worldwide, and the official video acquired 9.4 million views.
“1994” and “Let Me Down Slowly” will be featured on Benjamin’s upcoming 12-track Narrated for You mixtape, which debuts Nov. 16.
Listen to Benjamin’s newest release below.