Thursday 2 February 2012

Ben Howard - Oats in the Water

On last night's Zane Lowe show on Radio 1 he premiered Oats in the Water, the new track by Ben Howard.  Howard's popularity skyrocketed last year with the release of his album 'Every Kingdom' (pictured) and this latest track is set to capitalise on this wave of success.

This latest track has a gloomy, moodier feel to his previous work.  His trademark acoustic guitar has been swapped for a gritty sounding electric with heavy reverb and his finger-picking is less intricate.  Instead, chords stab through the murky darkness, culminating in an explosive guitar solo.  Whilst the bass and drums have been given more prominence, the guitar and voice remain at the fore.  Howard's restrained voice sticks to the lower register, allowing the wailing guitar to do the talking.

Oats in the Water is a long way from the bright folk tales of 'Every Kingdom'.  It's as if he's been possessed by his evil twin, creating a far more abrasive track than we're used to.  The former may be preferable, but this is an excellent change of pace.


Listen: Howard's debut 'Every Kingdom' is available now.  Fingers crossed Oats in the Water will follow suit.

Watch: Howard will be touring the UK throughout February.