The Shoebox EP

by Paola Bennet

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First of all, to the Indiegogo contributors for making all this possible. I am grateful for every one of you, and especially to those who supported with one percent or more: my parents, Alice, Jenn, Barb, Stiles, Amy, Gerry, Rene, Marcia, Liddy, Séverine, Marie-Pierre & Tim, Scarlet, Danielle, Mikel, Nell, Penny, Ann, Sharon, Ulla, Jeannine, the Passion Passport team, Dave, Charlie, Lori, Lani, Caitlin, Mary, Jackie, Briana, Grégory, Jens, Pascal, Savannah, Emma, Yves, Johnson, and Eric.

Second, to those who helped bring this to life. Justin, for your tireless hours, constant patience, and deft translation of my thought to sound. The fantastic folks at each studio, for making the booth one of my favorite places to be. Bengisu, Gabriel, Gerson, & Cristobal, for putting to bowstrings what I couldn’t to words. Michael, for your space and guidance. Christine and Rose, for understanding how these songs should look before even hearing them. My sweet friends and raucous family (des deux côtés de l'Atlantique), simply for being. Paris, for birthing the hardest song to share on this record. And finally, to those who wrote or gave me something worth packing away in a shoebox — bringing you into the light brought me into it, too.


released December 13, 2016

Paola Bennet: all vocals; acoustic guitar; electric guitar on 1, 3
Justin Oppus: electric guitar on 1, bass on 3
Bengisu Gokce, Gabriel Majou, Gerson Eguiguren, Cristobal Cruz Garcia: violins, viola and cello (respectively)

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Justin Oppus at Sweetsounds NYC, Flux Studios NYC, Shifted Recording NYC, & Soundscapes Boston
Lyrics, compositions, and arrangements by Paola Bennet
Photography by Christine Florence
Design by Rose Gallogly


all rights reserved



Paola Bennet New York, New York

A Boston native and Brooklyn transplant, singer-songwriter Paola Bennet's music mirrors New England's intimate melancholy. With a voice drawing comparisons to Phoebe Bridgers and Daughter's Elena Tonra, and lyrics ranging in subject from simmering crushes to clinical anxiety, her songs walk the line between haunting lullaby and gutsy confession. She is currently recording an EP for late 2020. ... more

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Track Name: Antidote
Empty ribs in an empty room
So fragile you can see right through
Thinking I'll heal if I just don't move
Then comes that voice saying, "You're a fool"

Been trying to write for months now
Hush the worst of thoughts with words out of my mouth
But what can you say when your heart's gone out?
I'd ask for a light, but I am much too proud

Here it comes
Hot like a fever — I can't run
Helpless to the burn
Telling me "love, you'll never learn"
I am the haunted and I'm the ghost
I am the hand wrapped round my own throat
I am the poison, where is my antidote

All the boys, they push my name between their teeth
Like I'm the killer and not the nicotine
But maybe I am, maybe there's something about me
A bitterness in my bones
Though God knows, I was trying for sweet


Breaking down from the inside out
Clench my fists
Can't just give it all up
I'm made of more than this

Here it comes
Hot like a fever — I won't run
Shut the voices out
No more will I burn myself down
I am the haunted and I'm the ghost
I'm tired of haunting, open the window
Draw out the poison, I am my antidote
Track Name: Who I Can't Have
Darling, you're getting to be
A craving that I can't feed
You’re charming like the pictures
All smiles and gallant gestures
I'm trying not to let you get to me

Laughter spills from your mouth
And I shouldn't get attached to that sound
I'm not so bold as to go chasing
Sunbeams in dark places
But what would I do without your light around?

Nobody drew me a map
Nobody said "Don't do that"
I'd come right out if I knew how to ask
For who I can't have

Darling, it's hard not to fall
For the golden boy, the prize upon the wall
But you're not mine for the taking
I'm just yours for the breaking
And it comes across a telephone call


But tell me this, tell me honestly
When you came running down the street
Did you know yours was just the face
I wanted to see?

Nobody drew me a map
And now I can't find my way back
'Cause me to you's a treacherous path

Track Name: September
Tell me one more time how it’s going to be
And maybe I’ll stop feeling like I’m bleeding out slowly
In the smoke and headlights
You chose to hit my blind side
Has September ever felt this cold before?

You always talk, but you never say (never say)
The words I want you to
You say hello, but you never stay (never stay)
I can tell your heart’s not here with you

Face to face, you’ve got me
Looking for my old self in you
Wait, I think you forgot me
And you don’t even know
Darling, you’re an open wound

Tell me you don’t see what we’re locked into
Playing out the same old game
And all we do is lose
Smoke and wild eyes
I can’t remember what your hands feel like
But they’re all that kept me warm

We always talk, but we never say (never say)
The things we really mean
We get close, then the moment fades, gone away
Something in my chest just wants to scream


Isn’t there always one
You can’t let go of
Isn’t there always one
Whose fingernails are sunk
Deep in…
Track Name: Morning [Live Acoustic]
I’ve been writing letters
To myself, to my friends
They haven’t quite come out right
Too much broken, too much to mend

I’m walking too heavy
Disillusionment thick in my veins
I’m heartsick and I’m tired
Or isn’t that the same
Aren’t they the same?

Mother mother, I swear
I looked for the light, and I saw nothing there
But, mother mother, I swear
If morning will rise, then I will get there

But now where do you shelter?
Where do you go from here
When the mirror shows three faces:
anger and anguish and fear?

I thought I knew what hope looked like
I thought I knew how to breathe
But it’s all gone too far
And my head’s begging my heart
to stop giving it bad dreams

Father father, I swear
I looked to the sky and saw a storm brewing there
But father father, I swear
If morning will rise, then I will get there

Oh mother mother, I swear
I thought I was brave, and that this world was fair
But father father, I swear
I’ve seen the bottom of the deepest well
And even down in the dark, if there is nothing else
I know morning is waiting to rise, and so am I, I, I…

and I will get there

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