Singer/songwriter Brooke Bentham continues her 2018 UK tour this week with Soccer Mommy playing Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach tonight (September 12).
Aged just twenty-two, Brooke Bentham’s music carries the weight of someone who’s lived a hundred lives already. She was born and raised – in large, part, fending for herself with three older brothers – in South Shields before relocating to New Cross to study at Goldsmith’s. Here she at last felt part of a wider arts community, forming her live band and finding a mutual sense of camaraderie among a new generation of South London creatives.
Brooke is currently preparing work on the follow-up to her debut release, Losing Baby. She speaks to Andy Howells about her music DNA.
What was the first song that made an impact on you?
In terms of my own musical taste and not my parents, it’d probably be Perth by Bon Iver. I’d been getting into Bon Iver a bit and I was going on a school trip to Germany so I decided to download his new album to put on my iPod for the journey. I only listened to it once we got into Germany. It was about 6am and everyone else was asleep and it was probably one of the best music memories I have. I was blown away. It was just like another world and it wasn’t like anything I’d heard before. That album is still one of my favourite albums in the world. It reminds me what music is capable of.
What was the first single /download you bought?
You know, I can’t really remember. I reckon it was Beyonce because I remember holding the physical single and I think I got it at Woolworths on sale. I also remember listening to a LOT of Avril. I think I probably downloaded Avril first. My Dad had this thing on the computer where it played radios all over the world and if you typed a song in it would rip the song off the radio when it came on. That’s probably where I found Avril.
What was the first album you owned?
Pretty sure the first album I owned was Lil Chris.
What’s your constant go to track?
Nowhere Near by Yo La Tengo. I first heard it when I was around 16 in my room at night time and it was a really similar feeling to that Bon Iver Perth moment. I think the lyrics of Nowhere Near are really perfect and the way it sounds just feels like you’re really crushing on someone and you don’t know how they feel. It’s just so good.
What’s your constant go to album?
Hmm hard. Either Bon Iver/Bon Iver for reasons already stated or Beach House’s Depression Cherry. I love that album so much. It just feels like a dream. I bought the same keyboard that they use because I love it so much. I think it’s really cinematic and I can take myself somewhere else when I listen to it.
Who’s your latest music discovery?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Bonny Doon and Gia Margaret. I also kind of just discovered Pavement so I’m having fun going through their music.
What’s your own track that best defines you as an artist?
This is hard because I don’t think I’ve completely got there yet. The songs I’m yet to release are a little different and a little more what I want but so far from what I have I’d say Nowhere Near Sense. It’s always my favourite song to play live and it felt really important when we finished recording it. It kind of felt like I’d stepped into my own little world for a bit when we recorded this. We recorded vocals last and the whole room was dark and singing along to what we’d made was so fun and I was so proud. I think just every part of it is really carefully done.