Brooke Henzell

An Australian-born musician now living in New York City, Brooke Henzell‘s music has been described as “dreamy rock with one eye on vintage pop”.

Interview with Kelly Munro;

Tell us how long you’ve been making music?

Brooke : “I’ve been writing music in some capacity since I was about eight years old. I liked to mess around with the pieces my piano teacher assigned me. She got frustrated one day and told me that if I didn’t like the way the notes on the page were arranged I could write my own music in my own time. So I did.

I started entering composition competitions for local kids. Then in my teens I started writing songs with myself in mind as a performer.

I’m twenty-three now, so I suppose the answer to your question is either fifteen years or about ten, depending on your perspective.”

What’s been some of your highlights so far on your musical journey?

“When I was about fourteen I wound up rehearsing in a studio The Beatles had recorded in. I have no idea how I pulled that stunt. But honestly recording Abbey Park and writing the next songs I hope to follow it with, have been really liberating experiences.

I’m sure in ten years I’ll have totally different ideas about what I want to make but I’m excited about the ideas I have right now.”

Tell us more about the single. Is there a meaning behind the song? Story attached to it?.

“I hope there’s some meaning hah. I mean, I truly believe in art meaning whatever the audience or reader wants it to mean, but I can tell you about my thought process.

Aesthetically, at the time I was walking around a lot of parks in New York in the middle of summer. I wanted something that felt like that. But I was also wondering what it would be like to have a relationship end, and still have the memory of happiness outweigh the awfulness of the end.

I don’t know what that’s like, honestly! But I wanted to imagine. For me, that’s what the song is about, trying to answer that question.”

Whats it like living in New York at the moment?

“Well, right now, in the middle of a pandemic it is truly bizarre. But in general, I love New York even if it isn’t always easy to love. I always say it offers high highs and low lows.”

What albums do you never get tired of listening to?

“I’ll definitely leave something out and feel terrible about it, but here goes. When I’m home in Australia with my record collection I like to put on John Denver’s Poems, Prayers, and Promises. That’s my mum’s influence.

Then some obvious choices, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Abbey Road. I’ve had Jeff Buckley’s Live at Sin-é on repeat since high school, alongside the Arctic Monkeys’  Suck it and See. Slightly more recently (for me), I love The Kills Keep on Your Mean Side and Banks’ The Altar. Right now I’m listening to Dolly Parton’s The Fairest of Them All and Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising a lot and I think they’re here to stay.

And this one is cheating a bit because it’s a compilation but my parents played The Pogues’ Greatest Hits album a lot when I was small. That’s the first music I remember listening to, so it would be strange to separate the songs from each other in my mind and pick one of their albums.”

What can we expect from you this year?

“I’m hoping an EP! We’ll have to see when I’m allowed out of my apartment. I have some recording equipment here but it’s only really enough for demos. Hopefully some gigs here in New York as well. An Instagram live concert may have to be on the cards.”  

So keep an eye out just in case: 

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