Ben Howard – These Waters [EP]
July 14, 2009
I discovered Ben Howard when he was opening for Brett Dennen during his European tour. And that night, which was a very special night anyway, however short Ben Howard’s performance may have been, he proved to be the discovery of the year for me.
Afterwards I bought a copy of “These Waters” to explore what else this guy is capable of. And what I found was an interesting collection of acoustic songs in which Howard’s vocals are shining and his excellent guitar playing is a thing of beauty.
All the songs are worth mentioning but the two stand out tracks are London and These Waters. The way Ben Howard utilizes maximum potential of his guitar and sings with flawless vocals gives the songs something extra in both rhythmic and melodic quality.
The EP starts with The Wolves, which is more uptempo and the most impressive feat of this song is the timing. The sentiment in Cloud Nine is very impressive and it was probably my favorite song during his short live set that I saw. Excellent use of the guitar! The harmonic and melodic play that goes on in London is wonderful and with a lot of feeling Howard brings his strong lyrics to life. The combination of the use of his guitar, the strong introspective lyrics and comforting yet powerful vocals make for a gem of a song that really is the crown on this EP. The more folky Move Like You Want is faster paced and the breathy, almost seasoned sounding vocals give the song a lot of character. The EP ends with a bonus song called The Fire, which has a very demo-y feel to it. The raw and personal feel to it actually adds to the song instead of taking away from it.
So all in all this is a very impressive and complete EP, especially for a young musician like Ben Howard. I am very curious to hear what lies ahead for this talented and interesting musician.