Song of the Day: Heave Ho – Ben Howard


Earlier this year, BEN HOWARD reminded everyone why he won two Brit Awards in 2013 when he released his new single, ‘Heave Ho’. It happened during the conclusion of his four-show run at Brixton Academy in January. The shows are part of a massive tour that promotes Howard’s new and third album, Noonday Dream, which was released back in June 2018. HITC’s Christopher Weston hit the nail on the head when he called ‘Heave Ho’ “an accomplished, satisfying single; exactly what you’d expect from Ben Howard at this point,” further explaining that it’s bound to strike a chord with Howard’s established audiences.

And indeed, if online comments are any indication, his fans are – to say the least – highly intrigued. While Heave Ho’ might pass as a hidden track from 2018’s Noonday Dream, its dark, complex, and solemn energy is highly divorced from his debut album’s sound – 2011’s Every Kingdom was arguably more pop than folk. With ‘Heave Ho’, Howard seems intent on experimenting with the possibilities of his neo-folk sound – less pop and more sentimentally otherworldly, arguably also more honest and possibly closer to his true calling. Fans both hate and love this new Ben Howard who’s unravelling right before our ears and eyes.

The mixed fan reactions towards Howard’s new music are to be expected. You don’t get to be the winner of the Brit Awards for British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist without garnering mixed attention. Apart from these accolades, Howard’s star status was practically set in stone last year when he joined artists like St. Vincent, Dua Lipa, Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, and N.E.R.D. at Stradbally’s annual Electric Picnic arts-and-music festival, which Lottoland notes is often called “the Irish Glastonbury”. There’s no word yet on whether or not Howard will be joining Electric Picnic this year – Leinster Express reveals that the festival will be dropping its line upon March 13. And whether or not Howard will be there, it’s going to be a long wait until the festival happens on August 30. Until then, his new stuff can be heard online, with ‘Heave Ho’ being joined by three other new tracks released late last year.

But unlike ‘Heave Ho’, Howard’s releases from September 2018 – SisterAnother Friday Night, and the Sylvan Esso collaboration Hot Heavy Summer – were actually recorded during the sessions for Noonday DreamSpeaking with the NME, Howard explained that during the recording of that particular album, “There were little gems that we didn’t know what to do with but it felt right to put these 3 together, both separate and a part of the album so to speak.” He also added that he was lucky to have had a chance to collaborate with Amelia Meath, also known as the voice behind electro folk-pop duo Sylvan Esso, explaining that once they finished recording Hot Heavy Summer“the track just felt right for her.”

Armed with a strange new single in ‘Heave Ho’, three new tracks from late 2018, and touring heavily this year, speculation is rife about whether Howard’s next album is going to be released by 2019. With any luck, it’ll be released soon, and will carry with it the same experimental, brutally honest neo-folk sensibility that makes Heave Ho instantly unforgettable. If you are a fan of Ben Howard and looking for a similar artist, we recommend Pedro Syrah.



New Track: Moving Targets: Wild Rivers

Despite being an incredible 2018 for WILD RIVERS, which saw them tour across North America as well as meeting people who share a connection to their music, the four-piece band somehow felt disconnected from all the things that provided love and comfort – home.

Recorded live off the floor with producer, Dan Hosh, their latest single, ‘Moving Target,’ encompasses all their feelings of being far away from the comfort zone, accompanied with the vulnerable guitar plucks and the irresistibly lush harmonies, which provide a rich folk/singer-songwriter affair.

Despite being disconnected from home whilst on tour, the guys are gearing up to headline some shows around their native country, Canada (see tours dates below).

Be sure to look out for more material from WILD RIVERS, as they’ve got really something special. Check out ‘Moving Targets’ below:

Tour Dates 2019
2.27 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
2.28 – Hamilton, ON – Mills Hardware
3.01 – Guelph, ON – University of Guelph
3.02 – Burnstown, ON – Neat Coffee Shop
3.04 – Montreal, QC – Quai des Brumes
3.05 – Quebec City, QC – L’Anti Bar & Spectacles
3.06 – Kingston, ON – Ale House & Canteen
3.07 – London, ON – Rum Runners

EP Review: Highlands – Delafaye

After periods of recording from the bedroom of his Louisville apartment , Andrew Shockley -aka DELAFAYE – presents his latest EP ‘Highlands, released last month.

The acoustic guitar and drums takes lead in ‘Part I’ and ‘She Shook Me,’ giving off a sultry soulful rock sensation, where the alternative rocker’s vocals lures between the arrangements. Further along the EP, a sweet harmonica makes a brief presence through third effort, ‘Tripping and Rolling’, adding a feather light folkore feel.

‘Highlands’ EP routes back and concludes with that real gritty soulful/rock combo along with the alluring vocals from the beginning.

There are some potential favorites in this mini package – it was VERY hard to choose – so it’s over to you; have a listen to the EP and pick your favorites and say in the comment box.

Must Listens: Part I, Tripping and Rolling, Part II

New Track! Sandwiches -Daudi Matsiko

sandwiches Daudi Matisko

Alternative folkster DAUDI MATSIKO released his latest single, Sandwiches. Described as a beautiful instance of hushed dark folk, the single is the second effort from his EP The Lingering Effects of Disconnection, released last Friday.

Listen to first single, Take Me Old right here.

New Track! Take Me Old – Daudi Matsiko

Daudio Matsiko

Songwriter DAUDI MATSIKO  gives a heavy dose of dulcet tones and emotionally honest music with latest single Take Me Old, coming from his upcoming EP, The Lingering Effects Of Disconnection.

The three-minute production speaks of love transcending old age, reflected in the lyrics: “I may forget faces, names, our favourite memories, but know my heart is full”. Matsiko’s  soothing timbre floats above the light folk guitar of the track, creating an aura of comforting sadness, which is simultaneously open yet intimate. 

With roots in Uganda and the UK, Daudi’s love affair with music began at the tender age of 8, and began to flourish during his teenage years when he put pen to paper and began to write his own material. A crucial part of his existence, music has served as a therapeutic outlet, comforting him through the troubles life has thrown his way, and has led to the development of his sincere and heartfelt musical style. Having gigged prolifically around Nottingham to build his confidence, he is now set to support synthpop band  Portico in Sheffield, Manchester and London in November.

The Lingering Effects Of Disconnection EP is set for release on 27th November through his label; ok, alright.