ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Brooke Bentham
Dubbed the North’s answer to Angel Olsen, Brooke Bentham has just released a new track ‘Out Of My Mind’ after spending time in the studio with ex-The Coral (and celebrated musician in his own right) Bill Ryder-Jones. At only twenty-two years old, the punchy energy of the new single shows depth, refinement, & progression but this is only the beginning of her ever-blossoming career.
The aim for many when leaving their hometown for the first time (often aided through the rite of going away to University), is to live independently – a fresh start (hopefully) surrounded by the people and a community that you associate yourself with, though might not have had the opportunity to align with, growing up. For Brooke, the experience was not too dissimilar and marked the kickstart of what was to come. Although Bentham was born and raised in Southshields (just outside Newcastle), the musician is now located in New Cross where she has been studying at the prestigious Goldsmith’s and here she, at last, felt part of a wider arts community. In New Cross, Bentham met and formed her live band whilst finding a mutual sense of camaraderie among a new generation of South London creatives.
Brooke graduated only last year, and with the occasion released her acclaimed debut EP ‘The Room Swayed’. At times the 4-track collection is a brutally honest dissection of those static, unfulfilling relationships – forming the backdrop to her final year – before her second vulnerable EP, ‘This Rapture’, just a few months later. A musician on a mission, Brooke is now on tour across the UK with Tennessee’s Soccer Mommy and is taking the opportunity with all guns blazing, airing some brand new, bold and adventurous material for the first time in vein of her latest release, whispering a new direction of what is to come.
In light of the release of Brooke’s ‘Out Of My Mind’, we caught up with the singer-songwriter to compile her ULTIMATE playlist featuring an array of tracks that have influenced her new sound.
Bill Ryder-Jones – And Then There’s You
I really love Bill’s music and his voice. He sent me his album early before we started recording and I fell in love with it and it made me really excited to work with him. I’ve had this song stuck in my head for weeks. He just has really great ideas and is an absolute pleasure to work with – Bill makes my songs sound better than they do in my head.
Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me
Angel has always been a big influence for me. I love her early folkier stuff, and I take a lot of lyrical influence away from her. When ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ was released, it was pretty new for her because it was very clean and forward and I loved how much attitude there was.
Jessica Lea Mayfield – Standing In The Sun
A friend showed me Jessica Lea Mayfield when we were at uni a couple of years ago. We were amazed that she’d gone from country singer to doing dark grungy stuff. Her lyrics can be really dark but also really sweet and I love that twist – I also just love how simple this song is.
Mazzy Star – Blue Flower / So Tonight That I Might See
I’ve put two Mazzy Star songs on this playlist and it goes without saying that she’s a huge influence for me. I really love Hope Sandoval’s voice and how it’s so laid back and soft but with those really dirty guitars; it’s just perfect and gets me in such an otherworldly mood. The lyrics are also amazing. I could fill this playlist with Mazzy Star songs – they’re the kind of songs that make you think you could’ve written them because the lyrics are so simple, but they’re actually beautiful; I mean “fade into you, strange you never knew’”?!
Pavement – Here
Bill introduced me to this. I love a lot of nineties rock and I have always wanted my songs to live in that realm. I really love personal and funny lyrics, and I love it when you just get little lines in songs that stand out like that. I love the “am I the only one who laughs, at the jokes when they are so bad, and your jokes are always bad”. The melody and the guitars are just really beautiful. (I feel like this playlist is just a lot of me saying ‘it’s just so good’.)
Smog – Hit The Ground Running
I only heard of Smog and Bill Callahan around a year ago but I like the way Bill sings, it’s like speak-singing. This album is really good. (There we go again…)
Yo La Tengo – You can have it all
Oh Yo La… Where to begin. I fucking love this band. I first heard ‘Nowhere Near’ (one of my favourite songs in the world) when I was about 16. Painful is such a good album. Again, the lyrics are really straightforward but genius – ‘When I see you look at me, I’m not sure of anything’ – how lovely, and true, and great is that lyric? It seems when I speak to other people about Yo La Tengo, most other people haven’t heard of them and I just think they’re underrated. I love that the singing is so close too. It sounds like they’re in your ear and speaking to you. Ah, I just love them.
Mitski – A Loving Feeling
Mitski was my way into writing rock. The lyrics are very relatable and her voice is so soft and purposeful – the music is rock but it’s all catered to her vocal and the vocal melody.
Sonic Youth – A Bull In The Heather
I recently read Kim Gordon’s biography and it was a really interesting read into the music industry for women in the 90s. She spoke about this song and how she had Kathleen Hanna dance around them for the video – I think Kim is amazing and I love Sonic Youth.
BROOKE BENTHAM UK TOUR DATES w/ SOCCER MOMMY
Tue, 04 Sept, UK, Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
Wed, 05 Sept, UK, Manchester, The Deaf Institute
Fri, 07 Sept, Ireland, Dublin, The Grand Social
Sat, 08 Sept, UK, Liverpool, Shipping Forecast
Mon, 10 Sept, UK, Nottingham, Bodega
Tue, 11 Sept, UK, Bristol, Thekla
Wed, 12 Sept, UK, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
Thu, 13 Sept, UK, London, Scala
Fri, 14 Sept, Belgium, Gent
Mon, 17 Sept, Sweden, Gothenburg, Oceanen
Tue, 18 Sept, Sweden, Stockholm, Melodybox
Wed, 19 Sept, Denmark, Copenhagen, Ideal Bar