Review of Old Pine EP by Ben Howard

Ben Howard, a travelling, surfing, drinking 23 year old. His South Devon upbringing has had a massive impact on his style and sound.

Ben Howard Old Pine EP

Word of this first EP offering has successfully spread virally and through radio play, giving Ben Howard a great start. Apparently already a hit with the surfing community, you can see how the relaxed and stripped back style slots in. Intricate guitar work lends itself well to a great sense of melody and understanding of what makes a great track.

Imagine if Mumford & Sons, and Benjamin Francis Leftwich musically got it on. Then the opening track to 'Old Pine' would be created. Certainly standing out as the strongest offering here, it becomes sort of addictive. It gradually builds pace and tempo before completely dropping it. 'Old Pine' would definitely a live hit, with the right hook and potential.

Other tracks such as 'Three Tree Town' become more delicate, but remain well structured. Although they lack the real force and passion of 'Old Pine', you become sucked in and instantly a fan. He is quite seductive in his lyrics and writing style.

Ben Howard has been clever, it's acoustic, but with a real twist - Giving it a definite edge. Simply being an EP, this is a really positive taster of what he is capable for, and what we can expect to see in the future.

Laura Johnstone