Since winning two Brit awards in 2013, Ben Howard has been relatively absent from the music scene. Only making a couple of festival appearances here and there, Ben Howard has taken a different approach to usual Brit award winners. Usually they try and release new material as quickly as possible whilst they have maximum exposure and release numerous tours. Ben Howard however hasn’t released any new music since his fantastically dark Burgh Island EP that he released in November 2012.
Now he’s returned with a track called End of the Affair, which is taken from his upcoming second album. This 8 minute track takes the same tone as the Burgh Island EP as it is much darker and brooding than the material found on his debut Every Kingdom. The first 4 minutes of the track see Ben Howard being Ben Howard. He puts the usual string snapping strain on the guitar and he is slowly preparing us for the epic finale of the song.
The second half starts off really atmospheric with guitars playing distantly in the background and indecipherable vocals that echo and surround you. Then things start to pick up with guitars that could be mistaken for being in an Oxford math rock band. Bursts of drums are introduced along with Ben Howard howling lyrics with his raspy voice. Everything then becomes calm again and Ben’s echo soaked screams are all that is left. This then leads into the final minute of the track which is a combination of crashing drums and choppy guitars. As I listened I couldn’t help but hear a resemblance to the unreleased Foals track Stay Away.
So that’s it, Ben Howard is back. For the most part it’s just a continuation of the Burgh Island EP with an added outro. Hopefully Ben Howard will do more stuff like the end of this track as it worked really well and added a new lease of life to his music.