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Every Kingdom

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Editors’ Notes

Although Ben Howard often gets compared to Nick Drake or John Martyn, the English singer/songwriter was raised on his parents’ Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell records. Howard’s debut album, Every Kingdom, opens with the lilting, acoustic-based “Old Pine". Its intro, though, has much in common with Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye Blue Sky”, with descending chords and haunting “oohs” in the verses. Upon closer listen, Howard’s quivering, nasal-toned timbre recalls a young Devendra Banhart, sans surreal lyrics. “The Wolves” blends Banhart’s falsetto warble with the shaky vocal restraint of early Conor Oberst recordings. Toward the bridge, Howard digs deep into the grittier aspects of his natural tenor and we get a sense of his own style rising above his immediate influences. The more uptempo “Keep Your Head Up” works its timeless tunesmith magic best upon repeated listens. Over pedaling rhythms and subtly catchy melodies, Howard unleashes his scratchy voice, which segues into subtly layered gang vocals during the chorus.

Customer Reviews

Ed Who?

everybody has been going on and on about ed sheeran when all along, this man has twice the voice, twice the talent and twice the album. couldn't reccomend a better album. good going ben. been following him for a while and it's about time people heard his unique, enchanting voice. its a must buy, i assure you.


Having listened to this album 74 times in the last week I'm ready to write a review... one word... BRILLIANT.


Ben Howard has done something extraordinary for this album. Each track, fantastic in its own right, works seamlessly to make this album an instant classic. Taking two tracks previously on E.P.'s 'The Wolves' and 'Old Pine' and releasing them on his debut album may have been a questionable decision to some but it was the right call. The new, updated versions of the respective songs are just excellent improvements on their earlier releases.
The most encouraging part of this album is how, even though signed to a major record label Ben and his band have managed to keep the essence and originality of his music the strong message throughout the album. Often when an impressive talent emerges into general popularity their music is twisted and generalised to make it more 'radio-friendly' a good example of this in my opinion is Ed Sheeran, who's album was nothing compared to his earlier work with just him and guitar. What this album is proved that you can still hold true to what gained you mainstream success and not feel obliged alter your music style to get a few more plays on radio 1.
This is certainly a different sound to Ben's earlier releases but in my opinion it's a better, more complete showing of his music. The subtle additions made to each track just add a different dimension to his music while still holding true to the fantastic three-some of Ben, India and Chris. The later two who's contribution to this music is sensational.
What Ben has achieved with his debut album is a message to all aspiring artists, trying to find a way into the music industry. It's about being original; it's about having a depth of music that is phenomenal, and mostly importantly having an outstanding live act. Ben Howard is without doubt the best artist I have ever seen live. The energy that the three of them bring to the act is fantastic, through that a large and dedicated fan-base has been formed. Through that Ben has gained a deserved place in the music business without having to compromise his music to 'fit-in'.
This truly majestic album and I implore you to buy it. Each song as good as the last has such a powerful message conveyed through a couple of fantastic musicians and one hell of a singer and lyricist. Buy this album and go and see him live if you can. I can guarantee it will be a night you won’t forget.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Before launching his career as an acoustic singer/songwriter, Ben Howard grew up in South Devon, England, where his mother’s collection of folk records helped instill a love for Joni Mitchell, Donovan, and Richie Havens. Howard also developed an interest in surfing, catching his first wave at the age of 11 and heading to the beach whenever he wasn’t busy writing music in the folksy style of his influences. While pursuing a journalism degree years later, he briefly moved to Newquay, the surf capital...
Full bio
Every Kingdom, Ben Howard
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