The 23-year-old Ben Howard hails from South Devon, comfortably nestled between the moors and the sea. Taking inspiration from his surroundings, he goes back to his youth with his latest EP, The Old Pine. Together with Chris Bond on bass and drums, and India Bourne on cello, Ben Howard recorded The Old Pine in a rustic barn, enveloping it in authenticity and making the listening experience that much sweeter.
Howard starts off with a nostalgic look at a youth spent playing in the woods and singing the morning in with ‘Old Pine’. A quirky melody is strummed on the guitar before drums and layered vocals are invited in for a dramatic touch. ‘Further Away’ is a story of karma and a showcase of Ben’s fantastic guitar work. Pauses and slowed down tempos are used to great effect, adding an otherworldly sense to proceedings. ‘Folation Wood’ exemplifies Ben’s story telling ability as he makes his point with stripped back moments. The EP’s final track, ‘Three Tree Town’ lets the melody tell a happy tale, while vocals allude to a more melancholic twist.
Moving forward from The Wolves EP, Ben Howard is perfecting his trademark sound with glorious, accidental precision. Ben sketches pictures and narrates the short stories that make his life with ease. A must hear for any folk fan.
Words: Kat Nicholls