Excellent display of promise
Charlotte Grimwade
13:54 15th March 2023

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There’s something inherently nostalgic about Brooke Bentham’s songwriting. She encapsulates the ups and downs of young adulthood with searing clarity. Echoing musical elements of artists like Paramore and Lucy Dacus, Bentham is creating her own comforting nook in the UK music scene.

Her latest EP, Caring, is a testament to this, reflecting an emotional shift and greater assertiveness in Bentham’s work. Since accompanying Dacus on parts of her most recent UK tour back in 2022, Bentham has undeniably found her niche amongst the plethora of up-and-coming songwriters across the country. 

Caring begins with ‘Over and Over’, a surprisingly chipper track given the general sense of despondence conveyed in Bentham’s previous music. This opening song was initially released as a single, evoking the simple pleasures of camping trips and summer adventures with friends. ‘Over and Over’ feels inherently nostalgic, with rising harmonies and gently strumming guitars opening the EP on a comforting note. “I love you, the way that I want to” repeats Bentham, asserting a delightful sense of confidence. The song captures the cathartic joys of being outside – it feels like a release. It makes ‘Over and Over’ one of the strongest songs on the EP. 

“I can’t get the words out” sings Bentham in second track ‘Almost Heaven’. This frustrated sentiment is echoed in the song’s catchy refrain, reminiscent of the sound of 2010s Lucy Dacus or Phoebe Bridgers. Bentham definitely has the voice and lyricism to fit into the same ilk of these renowned indie artists. Though still finding her feet, she’s clearly getting to the point where she’s establishing her own unique mark on the genre. ‘Almost Heaven’ effortlessly flows between softer folk and more striking indie rock. Her vocal talent is exceptional, flexing her ability to easily belt whilst also capturing the emotional rawness of quieter moments.

‘Let Go’ provides a more contemplative moment in the EP. Though it’s arguably not as exciting as the rest of the tracks in Caring, it does create an important moment of pause that once again shows off Bentham’s vocal range. One thing ‘Let Go’ and the rest of Caring does achieve is a reassuring sense of freedom. The track feels organic as Bentham experiments with vocal motifs and more interesting instrumentation. 

Caring closes with one of its best songs, ‘Stop’. Contrasting the slightly underwhelming ending of ‘Let Go’, ‘Stop’ maintains an effortlessly cool early-2000s feel, encapsulating the nostalgia of the entire EP. The track is reminiscent of the gut-wrenching nostalgia of bands like The Cranberries, highlighting how Bentham is creating her own take on indie rock that harks back to her influences. ‘Stop’ encapsulates the drive that makes Caring so exciting. Overall, it’s an excellent display of Bentham’s talent, influences and promise. 

Caring arrives March 17th.

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