Ben Howard – Noonday Dream

Posted by: on Jun 12, 2018 | No Comments

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When Ben Howard emerged onto the scene back in 2011 with his debut record Every Kingdom,  he was lauded as a new age luminary taking in aspects  to his music of classic English folk artists such as Bert Jansch and Nick Drake with his open tuned folk gems. Fast forward on seven years to his third studio record Noonday Dream, and you might be a little disappointed.

The acoustic guitars that were once prominent in his sound have been relegated to the back of the mix with electric guitar now being at the front in tracks such as ‘Nica Libres at Dusk’ and the seven minute single ‘A Boat To An Island On A Wall’. Yes, it’s very different from his folky beginnings, yet as a collection of songs, all of the  intricate instrumentation combined with the almost holistic vocals seems to draw together as an unarguable force of nature.

Whilst the majority of these tracks are lengthy with very slow cinematic builds, it’s worth sticking with and wrapping your ears around the whole thing. Some people have stated that they are not a fan of this record and in parts it is disappointing, yet it’s clear that Noonday Dream is Howard’s magnum opus. Following on from the experimental brushes with arrangement and sounds on 2014’s I Forgot Where We Were, Noonday Dream hits hard on many levels and is a definite step forward as an artist for Ben Howard.

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