I was wanting to do this review for a long time. And finally today is the day when I have settled down to do it. Yes, these are my thoughts about this very talented British singer songwriter whom I admire very much and get deeply engrossed in his music. We will look at his music, some images, at some of his lyrics……and get introduced to him…
He is Mr. Ben Howard………friends….:)
A brief introduction….
Benjamin John “Ben” Howard (born 24 April 1987) is an English singer songwriter born in Richmond,London and moved to Devon at the age of five. Born to musician parents, he was influenced by various singer songwriters from a very early age. Howard began writing songs when he was eleven. He is a left handed guitarist whose unique guitar playing skills including percussion skills are hailed by fans and everyone at the music industry and coupled his haunting tunes and thoughtful lyrics, makes his songs intensely stimulating. He, according to me belongs to the indie folk genre with alternative folk rock.
His albums uptil now….
- 2008-11 : Early releases
- 2011-13 : Every Kingdom
- 2014 : I forgot where we Were.
My personal views on Ben’s music…..
I am deeply amazed by his voice, his guitar,the lyrics and the tunes, mostly unique,yet so simple, beautiful, haunting at times and best describes his love to the natural outdoors of rural England, and also his not-so-happy personal life which gets reflected in most of his songs. I, along with many of his fans around the world deeply admire the intensity by which he plays guitar, the intensity by which he delivers his lyrics and the wonderful support by his co members and friends India Bourne and Chris Bond along with Willy Mason……trust me, you cannot avoid his songs…:)…we will listen to some of them here…
Once again, there are so many songs to be played from Ben Howard…..too many for just one post….but I will try to play some of my top favourites…:)
We will start with ‘Small Things’…….
The slow sound of an electric guitar is followed by the subtle beats of drums as a violin enters at the very end of the song, which helps it gradually fade out. This moment opens Ben Howard’s sophomore album, “I Forget Where We Were,” and sets the eerie mood for the rest of the collection.
Howard’s second album has a different mood than his first album, “Every Kingdom,” which had a more sentimental and motivational tone and featured a handful of love songs. With this newest album, Howard expresses his darker side, charged with grief and sorrow. While Howard sticks to his acoustic guitar in many songs, he has also taken to using more electronic instrumentation on this album, which helps aid his new, darker musicality.
Here’s a beautiful live version of ‘In Dreams’………
His songs are quite long, varying from four to nearly eight minutes. There are many moments on this album where listeners will hear just instruments or Howard’s passionate and emotional voice. This is something that his audience could appreciate from the singer as they serve as a showcase for Howard’s musical talent.
Next up is another gorgeous live version of his song ‘Rivers in your mouth’…..
My next share will be ‘Time is Dancing’….and I just love this song…….take it to the prom, to your drive, play it anywhere….this is pure magic….:)
Next song will be ‘Promise’, the first time I heard it was in a completely silent environment, and the song sounded hauntingly beautiful, and really gave me goosebumps…….this is another dark beauty from Ben……
‘And meet me there, with bundles of flowers We’ll wade through the hours of cold winter She’ll howl at the walls Tearing down doors of time Shelter as we go And promise me this You’ll wait for me only Scared of the lonely arms That surface, far below these birds Maybe, just maybe i’ll come home Who am i, darling to you? Who am i To tell you stories of mine? Who am i? Who am i, darling for you? Who am i To be your burden in time? Lonely Who am i, to you? Who am i, darling for you? Who am i? To be your burden Who am i, darling to you? Who am i? I come alone here I come alone here’……….Promise
Not listening to ‘Black Flies’ played live will be a shame…..:)…
We will end today with ‘All is now harmed’………….
Will request all of you to explore more of Ben Howard…..he deserves to be heard more…..