Exposure - Ben Howard
Folksy Devonshire singer-songwriter who surfs
Songsmith and West Country surfer dude Ben Howard, 23, has been building up a word of mouth fanbase over the last two years. His folksy guitar sound initially attracted Mumford & Sons singer Ben Lovett’s label Communion, a fitting home for his debut EP ‘The Old Pine’. A core guitar sound is enhanced by his cellist/ backing singer India Bourne, and Chris Bond, who plays double-bass and drums.
Ben’s style of high register warblings has drawn comparison to Tim Buckley and Nick Drake, especially with current single ‘The Wolves’, and he has also been likened to John Martyn and Jack Johnson (don’t let the latter put you off though).
He’s now signed to Island Records and has a debut album ‘Every Kingdom’, out on October 3rd.
What are you up to today?
We’re in Landaaan! I’m getting driven through West London somewhere. I have live sessions with XFM and Radio 2 today.
What influences your songwriting?
Absolutely everything really, I’m quite an honest songwriter. I write from personal experience, which is probably the easiest way to write songs, from stuff you’ve done; you don’t have to be that imaginative, just about emotions you’ve felt and people you’ve met.
How are you feeling about your upcoming tour?
It will be about two and a half months in a row, but we do it because we love music live. It’s quite exciting rather than daunting.
Are you looking forward to playing Scotland?
I went to Edinburgh for the first time and it’s a beautiful city, I’d like to spend a bit more time there for sure. And Glasgow’s really cool, I’m actually seeing a girl from Glasgow at the moment, she’s promised to take me out to some of the crazy clubs and bars.
Cabaret Voltaire, Blair Street, 0131 220 6176, Mon 8 Aug, 7pm, £8, part of The Edge Festival. He returns to King Tuts, Glasgow on 31 Oct.