I've been thinking for quite some time what exactly should I write for the first album review and then I thought: "Oh well, Ben Howard is one of the best musicians you saw live, Anna, go for Ben". Then was the problem of which album I should write about as all of them are worth paying attention to. In the end of the day I decided to focus on his last EP "Burgh Island", which was highly anticipated and contains four new songs.
When I first listened to it I wanted to re-check if that was still Ben Howard I've been listening to. No more acoustic guitar, no more my favorite guitar tapping and no more warm feeling after listening to the songs like "Old Pine" and "Keep Your Head Up", when you want to be dancing in the woods and be all folky and happy. "Burgh Island" has re-discovered Ben Howard for me and I’m sure for the most of his fans. “Black Flies” was one of the darkest and gloomiest songs on his debut album and became a good transition towards his new EP.
"Burgh Island" is so much darker and deeper than everything I've heard written by Ben. The first track of the EP is "Esmeralda" and it gives the good idea of what you are about to hear. Very strong electric guitar (once again, not the acoustic!) and I absolutely love how the song gradually grows in its sound. The instrumentals of the song are matching perfectly Ben’s very distinct vocals. The second song is “Oats in the Water” and this is the strongest song in terms of instrumentals and the queerness of the sound. "To Be Alone" is taking the listener even deeper in the emotions of the songwriter. The echoing “I don’t need nobody to be alone” gives you the feeling of standing on the edge cliff. "Burgh Island" is a perfect rounding off for this EP. 8 minute track is slow, beautiful and atmospheric, just like the whole EP itself.