Hello and welcome to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… With two new acts a week, the feature pretty much does what it says on the tin: getting you a little bit closer to the buzziest new acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.
We’ve recently introduced you to Margate producer and vocalist Art School Girlfriend, Jerry Paper, an LA native making weirdly wonderful pop, Portland native Black Belt Eagle Scout and Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Pizzagirl. Next, we’re with Brooke Bentham.
In previous tracks, Brooke opted for a more atmospheric, folk-tinged sound, but on her latest release, the Bill Ryder-Jones-produced ‘Out Of My Mind’, she takes things in a more upbeat direction.
Since sharing the track, Brooke has also been on tour supporting Soccer Mommy across the UK and Europe and is currently in the process of making the follow-up to her previous two EPs - ‘This Rapture’ and ‘The Room Swayed’.
Get to know Brooke a little better and listen to her music below.
Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio.
Hey baby, u constantly in an existential state? Me too. Let’s kick it.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
Hmmm. My family weren’t really that musical when I was young. My uncle played guitar and he lived below us so I’d hear him playing. He moved onto trumpet when I went to uni. Ha! I wish I had cool stories but honestly like going to see McFly at the Metro Radio Arena was my first gig.
Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?
When I was just starting out, it was Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Laura Marling. When I started playing guitar I used to use open tunings a lot because they sound good no matter what you do, and a lot of those bands wrote beautiful songs with open tunings. Lyrically, I was influenced a lot by Joanna Newsom, Yo La Tengo and Angel Olsen.
You’re from near Newcastle - what’s the music scene like there at the moment? Are there other artists breaking through at the same time that you take inspiration from?
I’m based in London but I come from South Shields. South Shields does not really have that much of a music scene, you gotta go to Newcastle to do that - or that’s how it was when I lived there anyway. There’s a lot of really cool stuff coming out of Newcastle but I left before I really had a chance to do much there. I used to do the buskers nights with Sam (Fender) because we had a friend who put these nights on, but I never really did proper gigs.
Sam is obviously doing well now, but he’s one of those that we all knew was gonna blow up. It was just a waiting game when we lived in Newcastle cause he was writing for so long. He inspires me a lot, I remember telling him I have nothing to write about and he was like, "Brooke you can write about literally anything." You can tell in his lyrics, he just pulls it out of nowhere man. Another artist I love and adore from Newcastle is Imogen. She’s a really beautiful songwriter and she moved to London a year after me so it’s nice that we have this homey-music connection in a place that’s nothing like home.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
I would love to work with Sufjan Stevens. My dream collaborator changes day to day but it would just be really cool to work with him. We’d make an anthem.
Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to in 2018?
In 2018, I’m not doing so much for the rest of the year. I’m really excited to be on this tour with Soccer Mommy. We’ve done three shows so far and it is such a joy to watch them every night. They’re a fucking good band. Also I’m really enjoying working with Bill Ryder-Jones. We’re due to do some more recording and writing before the year’s out so that’s fun.
If people could take away one thing from your music, what would it be?
I mean, I don’t know. I think for me, making music is cathartic. It’s not trying to say anything important really. So just take it how you want it, if I enjoy making it and you enjoy listening to it - that’s cool, no?
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