EP Review: Brooke Bentham: The Room Swayed

‘Cinematic, passion-filled and moving in equal measure, every track leaves you mesmerised’

Intro to Brooke:
Releasing her first singles ‘Oliver’ and the immensely moving ‘I’ll See You in a While’ in 2016, singer-songwriter Brooke Bentham is back and proofing yet again, that she is one to watch in the world of alternative pop music. Building on the totally captivating sound of her first tracks, ‘The Room Swayed’ subconsciously hypnotises you until you become completely absorbed in what you are hearing. Read on to see exactly why you should discover Brooke Bentham now.

Track 1: Nowhere Near Sense
Setting out with an almost cinematic atmosphere, ‘Nowhere Near Sense’ is a soothing initial track for Brooke’s debut EP to progress from. Gradually transitioning through free-flowing, dream like accompanying textures and more rhythmic, military style drumming patterns, we are taken on a musical journey which is intriguing, disturbing and enticing all at the same time. Throughout the track, there are plenty of wow moments and with the track continually building without you realising, it perfectly showcases Brooke’s incredible musicality. However, while the overlaying of background motifs creates a magical sound, the real magic happens when they combine with Brooke’s lead vocal.  Passion-filled and dramatic in equal measure, it leaves you mesmerised.

Track 2: Heavy & Ephemeral
In stark contrast, the harmonic vocals which open Track 2, ‘Heavy & Ephemeral’ are un-apologetically powerful and after such a captivating first track, they are a bit of a shock. This opening phrase, which announces the track’s title, immediately gives off a more regular, mainstream sense which may mean that for some, it will be the preferred track of the whole EP. Following this, the more ‘accessible’ sound is re-affirmed and with the harmonic structure being set out by an organ-based chord sequence and the tempo being set out by a steady drum beat, it becomes a rather mainstream sounding track. However, there is also some very non-mainstream musicality going on here and with bold uses of empty space, and an unexpected blues-rock influenced ending, you realise this initially mainstream sounding track is actually crammed full of originality.

Track 3: I Need Your Body
Taking us back to towards the opening style, Track 3, ‘I Need Your Body,’ sets off with a combination of repetitive mid-pitched synth melodies and laid-back trip-hop style drum patterns. Sparse in nature, it both connects and contrasts perfectly with the slightly darker story told through the lyrics and Brooke’s impassioned vocal. As both the texture and the story develops, the accompaniment builds, and with the introduction of vocal harmonies and echoing strummed electric guitar, it takes on a sound reminiscent of tracks by The XX. It’s a dramatic, but relaxed sounding track and with a false ending that makes way for a final heartfelt plea for togetherness, it’s the perfect demonstration of Brooke’s music sounding way beyond her years.

Track 3: I Loved The Way You Talked
Concluding the EP, ‘I Loved The Way You Talked,’ takes us completely away from the regularity of the previous two tracks and on an experimental sounding journey full of emotion. Opening with an exposed vocal line – accompanied by only a sustained low-pitch synth note – it’s beautifully haunting and with the lyrics asking ‘why do you make me feel so bad?’ you feel like you are listening to a reflection that’s so personal, you shouldn’t be hearing it. Nevertheless, it is so captivating that you simply have to and with increasing strength, Brooke’s vocal guides us through an atmospheric soundscape of half-melodies and glitchy-sounding samples to a powerful Vangelis-esque ending. Put simply, this is music which is impossible to not be completely swallowed up by.

The Room Swayed, by Brooke Bentham is available on multiple online platforms now and while you’re there, give her latest single ‘House of Cards’ a listen as well. I guarantee you, there is much to enjoy.

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