Ben Howard - Every Kingdom
Ben Howard's debut album, 'Every Kingdom', was recorded in a converted barn in Devon, and has turned out darker in its lyrical content than he imagined it would.
The melodies come easy, but he worked hard on the words. "There's a lot of stuff about people and relationships, and about myself - I'm quite self-indulgent in that respect."
Life on the road with his band - India on cello, and Chris on bass and drums – has made them a close knit unit, and given them all a heightened "awareness of sound". You can hear it too, in the gentle, note perfect harmonies and the fragility in which they are delivered. They hush rooms, scatter the audience with a sense of euphoria, and leave them desperate for much more of the same.
And it's thus no wonder that Island were keen to sign them, especially after the label witnessed an ecstatic reaction during a performance at London's prestigious Water Rats which had followed a month long sold out headline tour throughout France, Holland, Germany, and the UK.
Ben sees himself as the latest in the lineage of pioneering Island's rootsy, folk-rock acts. "They sold me the idea on the back of their involvement with Nick Drake and John Martyn. That's my era. When I saw their roster I couldn't say no."
Dark and alluring on tape, and creating this unique live story before the story's truly yet begun, Ben Howard harks back to a classic and comforting time of old, albeit with a forward-thinking method of guitar performance. Spring is afoot, and Old Pine is a timely breathe of fresh air.
Release Date : 14 May 2012