Ben Howard – Every Kingdom

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Published on 19 February 2019 by

      Jon O’Brien: ‘Risking arriving a little too late to the party, Devon-born 23-year-old Ben Howard is yet another young troubadour whose sound appears indebted to the ’70s pastoral folk of John Martyn and Nick Drake. His debut album, Ben Howard – Every Kingdom, therefore, has its work cut out for it from the offset if it’s to make itself heard above similar recent efforts by the likes of Marcus Foster and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. But it’s clear from the opening track, “Old Pine,” a slow-burning epic that begins with some hushed choral harmonies before building into a strident slice of nu-folk, that this is a more intriguing affair. Indeed, considering that much of the album features nothing more than Howard’s intricate fingerpicking guitar skills with the occasional flourishes of cello and percussion, it’s remarkable that it’s only toward the closing minimal acoustic balladry of “Gracious” and “Promise” that the evocative autumnal vibes begin to lose their appeal. ….  It’s not clear whether Howard’s stripped-back approach will cross over to the mainstream, as other than “Keep Your Head Up,” a slightly more energetic rebel-rousing slice of folk-pop that found its way onto the Radio 1 playlist, its charms are more slow-burning than immediate. But it’s an impressively timeless debut that suggests Howard should have no problem standing out from the overpopulated nu-folk crowd.’

 

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom Tracklist

  1.  Old Pine 00:00
  2.  Diamonds 05:29
  3.  The Wolves 09:35
  4.  Everything 14:44
  5.  Only Love 19:30
  6.  The Fear 23:39
  7.  Keep Your Head Up 28:00
  8.  Black Flies 32:25
  9.  Gracious 38:47
  10.  Promise 43:40

Ben Howard - Every Kingdom

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