It has been 7 years since Brooke Eden last played here in London back at Country to Country in 2016 but is finally set to return in October during Country Music Week as part of the Song Suffragettes show at Bush Hall. We last caught up with Brooke just over a year ago (read HERE) in the run up to the release of her “Choosing You” EP and since then she has shared her next musical chapter with the Lindsay Rimes produced “Outlaw Love” (available HERE) that came out on June 9th through BMG/BBR Music Group. With the exciting news about her upcoming return and also the recently released EP, Jamie caught up with Brooke over Zoom to hear all about it.
Once we had finished getting excited that the two of us would finally get to meet IRL come October and realised how long it had been since we last spoke, we talked about how she is actually becoming a regular visitor to Europe this year having just returned to the States from Spain and Portugal, then prior to coming to London, there is a further Euro trip sandwiched between with some German shows at the end of this month. “I love it. I’m on quite the Euro trip right now, aren’t I? It’s been amazing, we were in Portugal and Spain on our honeymoon. My friend from college was getting married in Portugal, but me and Hilary never did a real honeymoon so thought let’s make a real deal out of this and spent some more time there and in Spain. Then I started getting asked to play in Germany and come to y’all in London and I’m just a big yes because I have completely fallen in love with Europe and any chance that I get to play my music over there I’m totally in so, let’s go.”
After discussing the delights of mainland Europe and future adventures that we both were planning (which may have involved a pair of Swifties being super excited as they talked about the Eras Tour), we moved on to the main focus and the pending first UK show that she will have played since 2016. “I am so excited to be coming over with the Song Suffragettes where there are two London based country artists and two American based country artists coming together for one night in London. You know I love myself some London, I had so much fun at C2C in 2016 which is so crazy how it feels like yesterday and also an entire lifetime ago. I love the way that fans in the UK listen to music, which is very different to fans in the States, it’s this beautiful experience to share these intimate nights with fans in London and I’m so excited to get back for the show.”
As a site we have always looked to be big supporters of Song Suffragettes as I have been to the show in Nashville, did my best to make every London event that I could and earlier this year we ran an extended feature with our friend and Song Suffragettes founder Todd Cassetty. The initiative in Nashville has become a weekly staple at The Listening Room that has seen many of country music’s biggest names take their initial steps on the stage but also offers a vital platform for female artists so I asked Brooke about her own experiences of the organization. “Song Suffragettes in the States is such a platform for female voices and I think that it started during the time that I moved to Nashville about eleven years ago. I’ve done a couple of things with them and I love the voice that it gives to females in country music where you can be brand new or here for years. Kelsea Ballerini stills shows up and plays it sometimes and Lainey (Wilson) has too so it’s cool to see this sorority of girls that get brought together because of Song Suffragettes and to be a part of it is super cool and especially in London.” Since we last caught up with Brooke, she has released two EP’s: “Choosing You” last year and her latest release “Outlaw Love” in June. We talked about the creative process of the latest four track EP and whether the songs were all written post finalising “Choosing You” or whether some of the tracks were already written and just became a more true fit for this project rather than the last. “Okay, so I would say that “Choosing You” was kind of like my internal journey and “Outlaw Love” is my external journey. With “Outlaw Love” and that EP, it starts off at the beginning of mine and Hilary’s relationship with “Whispering” where you know, there is this gossip in town and it goes from where other people are telling your story where it’s kind of like this fearful place where we’re not allowed to talk about ourselves but other people are talking about us through to our first dance song where we are very fearless. It was being who we are and our first dance at our wedding, so getting to dance in front of all of these people that have supported us through all of these years and there is no fear. For me it was this journey of where we started seven and a half years ago, where we met and fell in love to where we are now. We have come so far, we went from being in the closet for five years and not being able to talk about our relationship to fully standing in who we are, standing up for who we love and getting to live that life out loud. So, I think that this was just a different part of the journey.”
Reflecting on her growth as an artist along with becoming happier, feeling free and able to be herself like she now is able to, I asked her if she was able to go back in time to speak to herself seven and a half years ago before she last played in London, what would advise she would give to the Brooke back then? “Oh my gosh, I would go back and say to just be yourself! Anything that was scary and you thought was going to happen won’t and anything good that you thought could happen, happens! It’s really wild because especially at the beginning of your career you have so many people in your ear that are telling you what to do, who to be, what to sound like, what to look like and all of these things. I think that it took being in the industry for longer and coming into my own as a human to really be able to go through this journey, being a voice and standing up for myself. I wish that Brooke seven and a half years ago knew that everything was going to be ok, I would just tell her that it’s all going to be ok, to be herself and live out loud.”
We carried on from here to talk about whether she feels like she really can portray in her live shows and her music that she is almost a different person and able to be more real to an extent compared to when we last saw her over here. “Oh absolutely, I do feel like a different person. I truly was having to live this double life where I was singing songs with he/him pronouns talking about a romantic relationship even though I was probably writing about a woman. I definitely get to live more authentically, yeah completely authentically and that in itself has changed me, it has changed me as a songwriter, it has changed me as an artist but most importantly it has changed me as a human in the best way to really just be able to live freely. I hope that me being able to be myself allows other people the freedom to be themselves too. Especially in small towns and places where country music is super prevalent which is usually in a lot of places where there is a lot of homophobia, I hope that when queer people start telling their stories and singing about it there are other people that can hear that they are not alone in this. I hope that it allows people to open up their minds, open up their hearts and realise that love is love, it is not just something that we say, it is something that we need to start living by.” The last thing that we touched upon was that in the run up to the release of the “Outlaw Love” EP, Eden also joined forces with 5-part country a cappella hitmakers Home Free to release a stunning rendition of the Tanya Tucker classic “Delta Dawn” which was greeted with an incredible reaction both in terms of streaming numbers and reviews back in April. “Yeah, Home Free and I were playing the Opry on the same night a couple of years ago where it was the Opry performance where I performed with Trisha Yearwood. They knocked on the door of my dressing room after the show and were like “Oh my gosh, we loved this performance so much” where I’m thinking I loved y’alls performance. They are just incredible singers, their harmonies are amazing and had said oh my gosh, I would love to collaborate at some point, then we have built up this friendship over the last two years. They have played the Ryman a couple of times where I jumped on with them and I joined them on their Christmas tour this past winter, so we’ve grown this friendship and they came to me with the idea of covering “Delta Dawn”. It was an immediate yes, I grew up with my mom singing that song at the top of her lungs in our household every morning and being woken up with “Delta Dawn” blaring through our house so, it was just a really cool kind of full circle moment for me to recording the song with Home Free and recording this fun music video in this ghost town. It was super fun and I just love the way that it turned out and all of our voices sound together.”
Brooke Eden returns to the UK later this year for a special Song Suffragettes show on October 21st alongside Harper Grace, Simeon Hammond Dallas and Catherine McGrath at Bush Hall in London as part of this year’s Country Music Week with tickets available HERE.
You can check out Brooke’s latest EP “Outlaw Love” through all of the usual streaming platforms HERE and you can keep up to date with her socially on INSTAGRAMTIKTOKTWITTER & FACEBOOK
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks