For London via North Shields singer-songwriter Brooke Bentham, her debut album, Everyday Nothing, came out of an extended period of, well, nothing much at all. Following graduation, her life pared down to increasingly sparse parts – no real interests, no songwriting on the go, no job. It’s a melancholy familiar to many – what are you supposed to do in your early twenties? – and Bentham as a lyricist is an engaging – novelistic even – guide around the interior of a life paused at a red light. “Every day falls apart,” she sings on the excellent, swelling ‘Keep it Near’, “it’s everyday nothing.” She’s good on the details too (“twenty-three in hot water/ Dead flowers on your windowsill,” on ‘All of My Friends are Drunk’) and emotional truths, at one point singing, “Even my mother will tell you I’m not good affection/ I don’t know where I learned that.”
Fans of Bill Ryder-Jones might recognise his fingerprints across points of the album; carrying much of his Pavement-inspired shifts in dynamics, where dirge guitars arise out of nowhere like lumps in an ill-fitting carpet. Its widescreen slacker rock is compelling, but frustratingly the album deviates from this too infrequently, failing to match the emotional register of Bentham’s gifted lyric writing.
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