Ben Howard’s debut album entitled Every Kingdom has won over many hearts as it sings to a generation in love with the indie acoustic scene.
He considers himself a keen surfer who just happens to have a passion for playing guitar and writing lyrics. Although these two combinations have lead people to believe this is “surf music” it is not necessarily the case.
As you listen to the album you are greeted by the husky soulfulness of Howard’s voice accompanied by the soft cello tones which harmonise the sing-a-long choruses. The upbeat rhythmic percussions are the perfect contrast to the soft, dark lyrics which haunt many of the songs on the album. His personality reveals itself from the shadows of his lyrics as he pours his heart out on stage only for us to realise that he is the perfect singer-songwriting introvert.
Nearly two years since its release in the United States Every Kingdom is still being heard over radio stations and is a recurrent feature in many teenage girls top played playlists. He has won both BRIT Awards for which he has been nominated, namely the British Breakthrough Act and the British Solo Male Artist award. Every Kingdom peaked at number four in the UK Albums Chart and received overall positive reviews around the rest of Europe.
Howard has toured almost every corner of Great Britain, including various beach side gigs in order to help the “barefoot friendly” initiative. He is known for performing in small towns and encouraging the audience to sing in unison to his popular song, “Only Love”.
The warm reception he receives by his fans when on stage is but a small indicator of his incredible talent. His finger-picking style on the guitar can be compared to the likes of Jose Gonzalez and his sweet voice to the sound of Ed Sheeran, but in truth he has stated that he grew up listening to John Martyn and Van Morrison and in that respect those are his idles.
The combination of his folk guitar style influences along with his unique voice and resolving harmonics provides a new take on the indie scene which has gripped so many music enthusiasts. His sound is contemporary yet mature.
Listen to his new single performed in the streets of Paris.
Sullivan, C. 2013. Ben Howard Review. The Guardian Online, June, 13. Retrieved 19 October 2013 from http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jun/13/ben-howard-review
Ben Howard Music. 2013. Ben Howard News. Retrieved 20 October 2013 from http://www.benhowardmusic.co.uk/news/