I've got a thing for British singer/songwriters (doesn't everyone?) and for the last few weeks I've had Ben Howard's new album Every Kingdom on repeat. He's 25, from the U.K. and he just has this voice. Hard to describe, but definitely reminiscent of Nick Drake with some Simon and Garfunkel mixed in - very folk, with something more. Growing up with two musical parents, he says he was strongly influenced by Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, both of whom his parents played for him as a child.
His record was released here in the states on April 3rd, but already went gold in the U.K (U.K. gals - are you already fans?) He played South by Southwest and has dates this month at the Troubadour here in L.A. (Sold Out) and the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. A great lyricist with evocative vocals and spot-on arrangements, his songs are insightful, sometimes romantic and other times desperate and sad. Whatever mood he's in, I'll be there to listen.
My two favorites from the album are Keep Your Head Up (video above) and Old Pine (below). In Keep Your Head Up he sings:
I spent my time watching
the spaces that had grown between us.
And I cut my mind on second best
the scars that come with the greenness.
I gave my eyes to the boredom
still the seabed wouldn't let me in.
And I tried my best to embrace the darkness
in which I swim.
Have a great week everyone!