Brooke Bentham is trying to make sense of her place in the world like any other 23-year-old recent graduate, however in her case, it’s through a captivating output of wistful, jangling tunes. Having just released her debut album, and ahead of playing Omeara next week, she shares some of the tracks that have influenced her.
Barely out of the gate, she’s already shaping up to be a formidable songwriter. Her hands-off delivery sneaks in the kind of budding wisdom that comes six hours deep into the dull Sunday shift of your first job. Wrapping this in beautiful, minimalist arrangements produced by Bill Ryder-Jones, the poignancy of the mundane is highlighted and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll fall helplessly in love with Bentham and her work.
Catch her live at Omeara next Thursday. In the meantime, get to know Brooke Bentham In Five…
Eric’s Trip – Stove
This whole album is one that we kept coming back to when writing the album. I love how lo-fi and simple it is. Her voice is so great. They’re both singing heartfelt lyrics but it doesn’t sound forced.
Red House Painters – Katy Song
I hadn’t really heard of Red House Painters before we started recording, but as soon as Bill introduced me to them I fell in love. The guitar tone is so, so nice. They write some of my favourite lyrics. I think you can kind of hear the influence on ‘Men I Don’t Know’ from my album. The guitar tone Bill uses is very similar to the one in ‘Katy Song’.
Mazzy Star – Blue Light
All the tones in this song are amazing; it’s so thick and warm and sad. I take a lot of influence from Mazzy Star, but this song in particular I think is just amazing. I love watching videos of them live, Hope [Sandoval] comes across so quiet but I think the way she sings is so confident and sexy. They’re just so good.
Pavement – Here
I think when we wrote ‘All My Friends Are Drunk‘ we’d been listening to this a lot. I love the laziness of it. The drums almost sound out of time. I also love that line, “I’m the only one who laughs at your jokes when they’re so bad.”
Mitski – Your Best American Girl
Honestly this is one of the first songs I heard that I connected with in this world. Discovering Mitski’s Puberty 2 was like finding a bit of myself. It’s kind of Mazzy the way she sings so softly and there’s all this heavy stuff going on. It’s so cool… Also this album has some of the best lyrics i’ve heard. Pure poetry.
Brooke Bentham plays Omeara on Thursday 19th March. Tickets here.
Photo: Lauren Maccabee