Good music should transport you to somewhere entirely different than where you are. It should put a little hum in your ears and inside the back of your brain that flows down your spine, out through your appendages and into your organs. This is what Ben Howard’s debut album Every Kingdom did to me. This 23-year-old UK native is quickly making his way into the playlists of fans in the United States and has been playing sold out shows throughout Europe since before he signed with Island Records in early 2011. Every Kingdom is one of those albums you can get away with playing at nearly any moment throughout the day. Howard’s music is refreshingly acoustic and minimally altered by computers and fancy microphones. It’s pure and it’s honest. And the lyrics perfectly complement Howard’s sound. He is a guitar master. He can hammer down strings without hesitation and covers barre chords like a real pro. Yet while he is capable of creating a complex melody, he understands the simplicity in fingering notes versus blasting chords. As an up-and-coming artist, Howard defies the standard guidelines of popular music and creates an entirely different sound altogether that’s easily appreciated by all forms of music fans. Every Kingdom is addictive. This album is ground-breaking for the world of music but still has roots in familiar audible and lyrical ground, giving listeners another reason to stay plugged into their headphones.
Ben Howard plays on the Bigfoot stage at 1:45 pm on Monday, May 28th.