Glendale folk-rock singer Micah Bentley wanted to make an album that “voiced the current moment.”
Even though it was penned a year ago, the record, “No Rivalry,” speaks to the racial divide and uncertainty the world is feeling.
“The album says everything I would want to voice,” said Bentley, who graduated from Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria. “There’s an observation of tension and toxic culture that tends to be really selfish and self-centered. That’s something I’ve always been hyper aware of.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to speak out against. With this record, I’m voicing a lot of these frustrations.”
Bentley will celebrate the recent release of “No Rivalry” with a concert filmed at The Rebel Lounge that will be available Friday, August 14, on his social media pages, @micahbentley.
“The show is free with an option to support NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) and its Save Our Stages campaign,” Bentley said.
“Rebel Lounge was kind enough to let me shoot and record there for this concert, which is a full-band set as if we were doing a show. It’s high quality.”
The album “No Rivalry” was produced and mixed by Rob Withem, from the band Fine China, and Bob Hoag (Flying Blanket Recording) and was released under local label President Gator. Bentley just released video for the song “Scarcity,” which was shot primarily in Downtown Phoenix.
“I play in Rob’s band, Fine China,” Bentley said. “He has a home studio, and he’s a really great producer.
“I’m a folk-Americana singer-songwriter, and I draw a lot of inspiration from some of my favorite folk artists, like David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion), and older stuff from Neil Young and Tom Petty. I wanted to make a record that voiced the current moment. What’s strange about this record is it speaks a lot to the current moment we’re in, even though the songs were written last year.”
Bentley has been musical most of his life. He joined his first band—a punk act—in the eighth grade, and he was immediately drawn to it.
“It occupied a lot of my time and energy, similar to the way it does now,” Bentley said. “Now, it’s been therapeutic to channel my energy through music during the pandemic. It feels so good to put this album out right now. I hope people take the time to let it invite them in.”
In better times, he brings music fans to Peoria for music, as he works as the creative arts pastor at Axiom Church in Old Town Peoria. Its music venue, Driftwood Coffee Co., pairs with the city of Peoria to book and promote Second Saturdays, a series of free, family-friendly concerts.
“I’m booking all the music at that,” he said. “We’re really participating and instrumental in nurturing the arts community there. It’s been really fun.”