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New video from Ben Howard

April 8, 2011 by  

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New video from Ben Howard

Fresh from stunning early radio support from Zane Lowe, Lauren Laverne and Jo Whiley, West Country singer-songwriter Ben Howard has unveiled the beautiful video for the title track from his debut EP ‘Old Pine’.

Four-track EP ‘Old Pine’ is released on the 23rd May via Island Records. Tracklisting for EP: Old Pine, Further Away, Follaton Wood, Three Tree Town

To mark the forthcoming release, Ben heads out on a full UK tour including a sold-out date at the Borderline on 14th April (next Thursday):
12 April, Duchess, YORK
13 April, Moles, BATH
14 April, Borderline, London (SOLD OUT)
16 April, Joiner, Southampton
17 April, Glee Club, Birmingham
18 April, Musician, Leicester
19 April, Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
21 April, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
22 April, The Celidh Place, Ullapool
23 April, The Woodlands Centre, Stornaway
24 April, Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore
26 April, Ironworks, Inverness
28 April, Stereo, Glasgow
29 April, Riverside, Newcastle
8 May, Queens Hall, Pembrokeshire
Dot to Dot Festival:
28 May/Bristol
29 May/Nottingham
30 May/Manchester

Ben Howard is a man out of step with the troublesome nature of modernity. He no longer bothers with mobile phones (he’s lost 7 to date), he’s yet to dabble with digital television, and he finds this social networking malarkey irksome. It’s a stance that resonates through his music too, all recorded in a crumbling, creaking barn in rural Devonshire and nestled between the moors and the sea.

What Ben lacks in modern nous, he compensates for in the intricacies and fresh approach to his guitar playing. Blindly thrashing three chords isn’t his style, and the mesmerising finger picking technique that he merges with creating beats via a deft rap of his knuckles on the instrument is something quite special.

It’s an intriguing delivery, and one that makes his crackling, weaving songs so spellbinding. Part Bon Iver, part Donovan, Ben’s beautifully toned vocal is an instrument in itself, and it’s a talent that is already prospering on the live circuit long before a deal with Island Records (by way of Communion) was inked. Selling out venues far beyond his vast following amongst a fiercely loyal West Country surfing community, his recently concluded UK tour sold-out from Glasgow to London, and across Europe too where the demand is at odds with his freshly signed status.

The ‘Old Pine’ EP is a woozy, languid introduction, cathartic and quietly euphoric. ‘Old Pine’ is already a live favourite, his percussive perfection matched with the driving intricacies of Ben’s guitar playing and, smoky controlled voice. It’s replicated across the EP too. ‘Further Away’ and ‘Follaton Wood’ showcase that guitar-plucking and the rawness of Howard’s emotional subject matter.

Dark and alluring on tape, and creating this unique live story before the story’s truly yet begun, Ben Howard harks back to a classic and comforting time of old, albeit with a forward-thinking method of guitar performance. Spring is afoot, and ‘Old Pine’ is a timely breathe of fresh air.



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