In The Post #130: Ben Howard premieres powerful new track ‘End of the Affair’

By on Friday, 8th August 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

I settled in to a comfy spot on my sofa on Tuesday night to listen to Ben Howard‘s newly premiered track ‘End of the Affair’. Anticipating a warm, mellow acoustic song along the lines of his previous hit ‘Only Love’, I armed myself with a cozy pillow and a nice cup of coffee before I put my earbuds in and clicked the play button. At this point, I noticed that the track was almost 8 minutes long, and as the sparse acoustic guitar intro started, I wondered if Howard could stretch it that far without putting me to sleep. I sipped my coffee, in case the hit of caffeine turned out to be necessary.

However, the delicate opening riff soon revealed a sharp and dissonant twist, foreshadowing the possibility that there might be more to this song than poignant lyrics set against the richly textured timbre of Howard’s singing voice. The first part of the track is a gentle but insistent tug at the heartstrings that could easily circle to a predictable close around the 4-minute mark. Defying that expectation, Howard has chosen instead to delve into a deeper musical territory, intensifying the emotional anguish with an evocative and instrumentally expansive coda.

As that exquisite final section drew to a close, I realized that I was actually holding my breath, my mouth dropped open but stunned silent. Perhaps a shot of whiskey might have been a more appropriate accompaniment than the cup of coffee that now stood cold on the table next to me. Prepare yourself accordingly before taking a listen to ‘End of the Affair’ below.

9/10

The taster track ‘End of the Affair’ will feature on Ben Howard‘s sophomore album. We’ve been promised that details about the new LP will be revealed to the public soon, so hang tight.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Unz9gWteR1s[/youtube]

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