New Music To Know: Ben Howard

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(credit: U Music)

(credit: U Music)

Ben Howard may be opening for Mumford & Sons in America but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, it was the opposite. While touring in the U.K. years ago, Mumford & Sons opened for Howard.

Howard is the latest U.K. singer-songwriter making waves in America, and has been likened by some to Jack Johnson. This makes sense, as Howard is a surfer himself, but the difference between the two lies within the tales of their songs. Johnson is a laid-back singer whose lyrics embody a certain optimism. Singing of how “it’s always better when we’re together,” Johnson’s music is easy to escape and hum along to. Howard’s music, on the other hand, is something you can’t help but stop and pay attention to.

“Oats In the Water,” a haunting track off Howard’s 2012 EP The Burgh Island, shows off his wavering vocals combined with slowed electric guitar distortion. As the song picks up speed and the music crescendos to tell a somber tale of darkness and loneliness, his depth as a musician is apparent. According to Howard, the track came about in a rather unconventional way.

“I was in Morocco and I had a fever,” he told Radio.com. “I ended up writing ‘Oats In the Water’ over those few days in a basement with natural light in Morocco. That song came out of it. All the songs [on The Burgh Island E.P.] came from really weird places. Hopefully the second album will be a little happier. It’s been nice to have that freedom and play what I want.”

Read the rest at Radio.com

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