INTRODUCING Alice Bentley; an exciting new artist ready to make the year 2020 her own. Originally from the Highlands and now based in Glasgow, the burgeoning pop star began focusing on her songwriting early last year, pairing her love of big guitar riffs with huge pop choruses to create a sound that in her own words is “the perfect soundtrack to your weekend antics”.
After a dedicating a year to exploring her craft and learning new styles and techniques, Alice is ready to make her arrival this coming Friday with the release of her debut track ‘Come Up’. Arriving like a bolt out of the blue in our inbox, it immediately seized our attention. A track that will banish your January blues away, it’s a shimmering, instantly addictive piece of indie-pop; a hugely impressive opening volley that has been stuck in our heads ever since we first heard it.
Ahead of its release on Friday, we had a chat with the singer-songwriter about the track, her influences and ambitions for the next 12 months.
“I’ve been writing music since since I was about 17” she tells TTV, “but it’s quite hard to write good meaningful songs when you haven’t really experienced life.”
“I really only started to focus on the art of songwriting in early 2019. I really geeked out and listened to a lot of podcasts about song writing like And The Writer Is with Joss Golan and Song Exploder. I’ve also really learned from writing with other artists and songwriters – it’s amazing to learn techniques, style and structure from other people and then pick and mix the bits that work best for me and the music that I want to make.”
The first product of all of this sonic exploration has been ‘Come Up’. With its spirited lyrics and vibrant, infectious melodies, the timing of its arrival feels vital at this dark and dreary time of year as she explains that without delving into underlying meanings or serious subject matter, it’s all about having fun and living in the moment. ” I’d love to give a big meaningful speech about how this song has loads of hidden meaning in the lyrics… but it doesn’t.”
“The song is about life getting on top of you – there’s a time and a place to sort that out, but sometimes the best remedy is to just go out and have a bloody brilliantly fun, drunken, silly, magical night out with your best pals. It’s as simple as that.”
Alice also reveals she has been working alongside Glasgow-based duo PRIDES on her new material. With echoes of the duo’s ambitious, anthemic synth-pop sound present throughout, it perhaps comes as no surprise then that her debut track was produced by the band’s Callum Wiseman. She says of the experience: “Working with Prides has been amazing.”
“Stewart is amazing to write with; we really seem to be on the same page when talking about ideas and lyrics. I’d love to say we have a very professional way about writing but it’s usually a bottle of wine and an awful lot of fag breaks. Usually by 8pm on the day we’ve started writing we have a track and we’re ready for a night out.”
“Callum is a force to be reckoned with. His ability to take a 30 second voice memo and turn it into a MASSIVE sounding pop song is something I can never get my head around. He’s incredibly patient and had really helped boost my confidence when it comes to recording. He’s also the king of riffs.”
She also cites the likes of MUNA, Bleachers and Clean Cut Kid as influences – three bands known for their big pop hooks, fuzzy guitars and use of synths. It’s a combination she is keen to channel into her own songwriting as well as that familiar feeling of hope and euphoria that takes over on a glorious night out with friends.
“I think these bands are all completely different in terms of style but sound they all have taken a mixture of synths but kept quite dirty sounding guitars. Lyrically I love it when a line will break your heart and make you smile at the same time. Clean Cut Kid are the perfect example of that.
“One of my favourite thing about all of the artists that influence me is that they always look like they are having the best time when they perform live. I think sometimes that’s forgotten in music now. Image is obviously so important in this day and age but I think sometimes people forget that making music should be fun.”
“I want to make music people can put on when they are getting ready for a night out and these bands do exactly that for me. There’s a real magic in the air when the music is right and you’re surrounded by your pals; a glorious mix of hope, anticipation and longing for the best night ever.”
Ready to take over your playlists and soundtrack your weekend, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for Alice Bentley. Starting the year as she means to go on, she adds: “I’m so excited for people to (finally!) hear my music! We’ve been working so hard on the tracks and the live show that I just want to get out there and show the world what I can do and hopefully they’ll love the music as much as I do.”
‘Come Up’ arrives on Friday 10th January. Listen to it here on TENEMENT TV.