Ben Howard, a West Country singer-songwriter and well known surfer is due to release a four-track EP on 23rd May titled Old Pine. Listeners may already be familiar with his last album, These Waters, which has been playing on FRUK for a while now, but with this new release on Communion / Island Records I’d say he’s about to get a lot more exposure.
Rumour has it that the man is a bit out of step with modernity, but in this day and age I think that’s a good place to be in. 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. Quality of life and a back to basics mentality form a great keystone to build upon and this simple lifestyle decision is refelcted in his music. All his music is recorded in a crumbling, creaking barn in rural Devonshire nestled between the moors and the sea. A place he’s never going to be far from having already established a surfing reputation as well as being a keen campaigner for Surfers Against Sewage who are very active in the South West. He made this video to raise awareness about the issues back in 2009.
Ben Howard got his first big break back in 2009 when he won the Red Stripe Music Awards when he bedazzled judges with his guitar playing. His unique style which manages to get as much sound out of the instrument as possible doesn’t let him down. His picking and rapid percussion beats on the guitar body produce a nice raw sound that suits his laid back voice reminiscent of Bon Iver.
He recently concluded a UK and European tour sold-out from Glasgow to London, and across Europe but has a heap of UK dates in April for those who have yet to see him, but get in quick!
Old Pine is already a live favourite so there is no doubt the EP will sell like hotcakes to his well established fan base. Further Away and Follaton Wood also feature.
The good folks at Baby Sweet Sessions recorded the Communion takeover at St. Stephens Church last month which featured Ben Howard as well as Matthew and the Atlas and Daughter whom I’ve also included.
Matthew and the Atlas
Tracks from last Album: These Waters
12th April – The Duchess, York
13th April – Moles, Bath
14th April – The Borderline, London
16th April – Joiners, Southampton
17th April – Glee Club, Birmingham
18th April – The Musician, Leicester
19th April – Arts Centre, Colchester
21st April – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
22nd April – Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
23rd April – Woodlands, Stornoway
24th April – Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore
26th April – Ironworks Room 2, Inverness
28th April – Stereo, Glasgow
29th April – Riverside, Newcastle
7th May – Queens Hall, Pembrokeshire