by Rimantė Bivainytė
Early Wednesday evening I enter Clwb Ifor Bach and head upstairs. In the ‘green room’ I am introduced to a woman, she wears a vintage fluffy sweater with straight leg jeans and shiny shoes, reminiscent of the 90s. She leads me out of the room and through the corridor till we reach the emergency doors. Our conversation starts on the staircase near the emergency exit. Quite edgy, I think. My interviewee is Brooke Bentham, a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from South Shields, near to Newcastle. She is the supporting artist for Soccer Mommy.
Melancholy, sadness and anger – these three words come to my mind when I think about Brooke’s music. She performs alone, armed only with her electric guitar and enchanting the audience with her blue piercing eyes, taking you somewhere far away. Not being cheesy, but when I closed my eyes during her performance I felt all her words floating in the air, all the sorrow that she sings about touching the audience. Even though the performance was very simplistic (solo), the sound of melancholy and some sort of nostalgia filled up the venue and her authentic deep voice beautifully portrayed the lyrics. Asked about what she is seeking to convey through her music, Brooke agreed saying that her song writing is melancholic, whilst also noting that performing her music is a release of anger and a feeling of relief. This was very noticeable during her live performance. Brooke’s subtle facial expressions while singing showed that of calmness and tranquillity.
My following question was how she would describe her sound. She answered saying, ‘it’s kind of difficult right now, because I’m in the middle of what eventually I want to sound like. I’ve love folk rock; folk in the sense of songwriting and then rock in the sense of sound. So, this is where I’m heading now. I think my older EPs are a lot more pop-y, more sheen such as The Room Swayed and This Rapture. So, I’m trying to get a rawer sound.’ Asked about her influences and inspiration to create music she stated that, ‘a lot of the time situations or how I feel or just something that I’ve done and I’m dwelling on will cause me to write. What I’m making now is actually what I’m listening to. So, I’m sounding more in that realm.’
Brooke Bentham’s music is slightly fluctuating, slowly changing and entering a new sound. Going back to her first song written 6 years ago called ‘Oliver’ and exploring all of her other music including the latest song called ‘Out of My Mind’ it is quite interesting and intriguing to experience her uniqueness and her growing authentic sound.