Released: 26th March 2021
Ben Howard has never been one to chase the obvious routes to success. He’s not had to, either. With BRIT wins and commercial success comfortably assured, he’s become that rarest thing – an artist able to be themselves and still score the victories needed to keep moving forwards.
‘Collections From The Whiteout’ is another example of Howard’s determination to take his own path. Subtle rather than obvious, often quiet and textured while others would reach for the lazy and anthemic, there’s an intimacy that’s at the very least charming, often quite special. After his work with Taylor Swift, there are few better times to work alongside The National’s Aaron Dessner on production, and his warm, organic haze only enhances Howard’s innate strengths.
There’s a free-flowing ease to ‘Collections…’. ‘Far Out’ has a loose, easy-going charm, while ‘Finders Keepers’ – a song about the dismembered body a friend of his father found in a suitcase floating along the Thames – is curiously odd, in a good way. Spending time with someone so at ease within themselves is never a chore.