Ben Howard: I Forget Where We Were review – indie-folk singer finds his darker side


During the summer of 2013, it seemed that every time one turned on TV festival coverage, there was Ben Howard. “Only love! Only love!” he’d be crooning to a sea of mellow, Boden-clad revellers, seemingly the very model of the Waitrose indie-folk-songwriter. So his second album comes as a surprise: darker in hue, with hints of experimentation and songs that stretch beyond radio-friendly length – End of the Affair runs to nearly eight minutes, though perhaps not all of them are needed. Still, his ear for a melody hasn’t deserted him, and he won’t be scaring off fans of his debut. He’s still not much of a lyricist, preferring non-specific faux profundity – “Clearly calm I’m keeping terrorised/ The ageless thaw of winter/ Alone but by your side” – to clarity. But taken as a mood piece, I Forget Where We Are is actually rather lovely.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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