One Listen And It’s Love.

And it’s happened again. A couple of weeks ago, I was at work, when one of my friends, Niall, decided to message me about an upcoming gig.

“Dude, have you heard Ben Howard? He’s AMAZING, and he’s playing in the Academy in March. Listen to this, and wanna go?”

Well, Niall isn’t an American surfer-type, so the conversation didn’t in fact go like the above. However, he did send me “Old Pine”, a song by an artist called Ben Howard, and asked about the upcoming gig.

So I played the song…

benhoward

And fuck. Now, those of you who read the blog regularly (coming back again and again, hoping, praying I’ll update the damn thing) will know I don’t swear on here lightly. But fuck. FUCK.

My exact thoughts were:

Nice picked string start. Oh, nice vocal work. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Hmmm, his voice isn’t quite like I expected. Oh. Oh. Oh, that’s good. Those lyrics are excellent. And that’s a rather nice vocal twist.

This is good. Oh, really gorgeous entry of the drums.

This is building nicely. Very nicely. All he needs now is…and there’s the anthemic part. Wow, this is a little hair-raising.

Holy crap, this is stunning.

So, I give you Ben Howard, with “Old Pine”, from “Every Kingdom”, released last year. Ben is 23 years old, and making melodic rootsy folk music, with somewhat dark lyrics. (What? Wikipedia told me. I don’t produce any new material myself. Don’t you people know this yet? Soon, I’ll just be copy-pasting entire Wikipedia entries.)

But “Old Pine” isn’t dark – it’s a wonderful ode to getting older, and to the role good memories and friends play as you do so. And about, yes, being happy as time passes.

Hopefully your thoughts will follow mine, and like me, you’ll end up playing this song on repeat for days, and weeks, to come.

And say it with me, one last time.

FUCK.

Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know that memories
Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone beat down on bony backs
So far from home where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks

We slept like dogs down by the fire side
Awoke to the fog where all around us
The bloom of summertime

We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning

Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know the friends around you
Are all you’ll always have
Smoke in my lungs, the echoed stone
Careless and young, free as the birds that fly
With weightless souls now

We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning

We grow, grow, steady as the morning
We grow, grow, older still
We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
We grow, grow, older still
We grow, grow, steady as the flowers
We grow, grow, older still
We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
We grow, grow, older still

Ben Howard – Old Pine

www: Ben’s official website, Facebook Page, and MySpace.

5 comments

  1. Go on youtube and you’ll find the live version from Paris tour last year (was there). Ever better to my view. He has a channel as well.
    I’ve followed him since he was doing the first part of Brett Dennen and he keeps getting better and better.

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