INTERVIEW: Brooke Bentham | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Kat Green

In February 2020, South Shields songwriter Brooke Bentham released her debut album Everyday Nothing, which earned a load of rave reviews from every publication and radio station going. This was followed up by the more ambient follow-up Sunday Self and a covers EP, before a global pandemic stepped in to halt the momentum that would have undoubtedly seen Brooke continue to achieve great things.

With this disappointment and the world around her crumbling, Brooke struggled to find any inspiration for music. However, once some remnants of normality returned, she began reaching out to fellow creatives, leading to the birth of her upcoming release, The Caring EP.

“I slowly started trying to write again, trying to find people to collaborate with. My producer for the EP, Patrick J Pearson, asked if I wanted to do some writing at his beautiful studio in Devon and after that, we ended up recording my songs together. I’m really thankful to Pat for reaching out at a time I felt quite helpless, I’m not sure he knows that but it was a saving grace. He did an amazing job with the production.”

‘Caring’ is my ode to road trips, getting away from life, feeling like yourself and enjoying being alive

The Caring EP has added notes of Americana to Brooke’s eclectic indie sound and showcases her marvellous vocals talents, which are reminiscent of Lera Lynn and Sheryl Crow and textured with Feist-like harmonies. There’s also a real feeling of space and freedom throughout; from the opening track (and first single released from the EP) Over and Over – with its carefree lyrics and driving pace, to the wild rhythmic shuffling of Almost Heaven, to the ethereal chorus on Let Go, to the soaring country twang on Stop. If you close your eyes as you listen, you cannot help but picture yourself and a group of friends laughing and smiling as you’re being driven into the crepuscule tones of a dusky horizon on the back of a pickup truck. And, according to Brooke, there’s a reason for that. “The last few years have been full of road trips, camping, staying indoors. ‘Caring’ is my ode to road trips, getting away from life, feeling like yourself and enjoying being alive. I wanted it to physically sound like that.”

To achieve this, Brooke took a more innovative approach in the studio. “The exciting part of this EP was realising that I could put whatever I wanted on it. The trumpets were so fun, I’ve always thought I had to stick to a certain formula when it came to what instruments to use.”

When asked what she hoped people would take away from the EP, Brooke adds, “I’d like people to listen to Caring and feel comforted that their life isn’t going in the direction they’d always wanted it to. To feel like you have no idea what you’re doing but it’s ok, everyone is figuring it out. I don’t know if you ever really do figure it out.”

With all the praise she received for her previous work and the first two singles she released from the EP, Brooke would be forgiven for feeling the pressure. Thankfully she’s taking it all in her stride. “I try not to think about it really, the great thing about having everything crumble is that you start to feel a freedom. If people like it they like it, if they don’t then nothing changes. Life is life.”

Brooke Bentham releases Caring on Friday 17th March.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout