Ben Howard has announced two shows at London’s Royal Festival Hall for the Autumn. The musician, who releases his fourth album, Collections From The Whiteout, on 26th March, will return to the live arena in September, his first live shows since four consecutive sold-out nights at Brixton Academy back in January 2019.
To coincide with its announcement, Ben has shared two more tracks from Collections From The White Out. ‘Far Out’ and ‘Follies Fixture’ can be heard below…
Ben states on ‘Far Out’: “The song is essentially a critique of how easily people are drawn to violence and animosity without reason, just to pass the time. And ultimately how there is perhaps a simpler, more fulfilling path…I wanted it to have a very British rhyming slang feel and a Roald Dahl sense of macabre humour. I fear my tinkering with it has made it a little more plain and serious.”
On ‘Follies Fixture’, Ben explains: “Follies Fixture is a love song. It deals with an apathetic period of my life searching for routine in Paris.”
Collections From The Whiteout heralds the first time Ben has opened the door to collaboration, snaring The National’s Aaron Dessner on production, and a team of players from the likes of Big Thief, This Is The Kit, and drummer/producer Yussef Dayes. Strings were orchestrated by Bon Iver/Laura Marling collaborator Rob Moose.
The subject matter, previously shrouded in obfuscation, takes a scrapbook approach to Ben’s lyricism. Mostly based on snippets of radio news or headline scrolling, he’s let his imagination take those snapshots to wild and remote places, creating stories within stories. Characters are formed, histories are inferred. It’s beautifully random, and makes for an engrossing whole.