4 Songs, 23 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Much like Slowdive and Mojave 3 frontman Neil Halstead, Ben Howard is a surfing folk singer/songwriter who lives in the English surf capital of Newquay, Cornwall. But where Halstead’s whispery inflections have been compared to Nick Drake's, Howard opens his Burgh Island singing like an unstrained Conor Oberst over nimble acoustic arpeggios that recall early-'70s John Martyn. “Esmerelda” sets a tone that’s as dark and foreboding as the cover art, as Howard croons elongated vowels over melancholic minor chords and a background pianist who fills the empty space with deep pulsating notes. The following “Oats in the Water” gets fleshed out with a rhythm section and the sublime warble of an old grinding organ before the song unfolds and rocks out toward the end with howling guitar distortion that fans of Neil Young & Crazy Horse should appreciate. Echoes of early-'90s shoegazing hover like a thick coastal fog over the beginning of “To Be Alone.” Howard seems most comfortable when singing harmonies over electric guitars, as heard in the eight-minute closer, “Burgh Island.”

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Much like Slowdive and Mojave 3 frontman Neil Halstead, Ben Howard is a surfing folk singer/songwriter who lives in the English surf capital of Newquay, Cornwall. But where Halstead’s whispery inflections have been compared to Nick Drake's, Howard opens his Burgh Island singing like an unstrained Conor Oberst over nimble acoustic arpeggios that recall early-'70s John Martyn. “Esmerelda” sets a tone that’s as dark and foreboding as the cover art, as Howard croons elongated vowels over melancholic minor chords and a background pianist who fills the empty space with deep pulsating notes. The following “Oats in the Water” gets fleshed out with a rhythm section and the sublime warble of an old grinding organ before the song unfolds and rocks out toward the end with howling guitar distortion that fans of Neil Young & Crazy Horse should appreciate. Echoes of early-'90s shoegazing hover like a thick coastal fog over the beginning of “To Be Alone.” Howard seems most comfortable when singing harmonies over electric guitars, as heard in the eight-minute closer, “Burgh Island.”

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
182 Ratings
182 Ratings
Mister mister74 ,

Wow

Dark poetry mixed with sensational musicians. Not the same as every kingdom but has the darkness of Black Flies and the beauty of Everything. Just an amazing musician at his best.

HugeHungryHippo ,

An Absolute Legend

with out question the best live performance artist I have ever seen, and a great guy as well. Buy this!

mf_gandi ,

What's there to say?

Ben Howard is impeccable. This EP isn't like his previous album, but so much more. Every Kingdom is great, it's better than great, it's amazing. But this album is much more mature then his previous stuff, and really allows you to connect with the lyrics on another level. It's too good to be true.

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