Thursday 28 January 2021

ALBUM NEWS: Ben Howard - 'Collections From The Whiteout'

I got a hint of the arrival of this track early, and got to listen to it a day before it was premiered by Annie Mac on Radio 1. Felt a little smug. It's out in the world now, along with some very exciting news! Ben Howard releases his fourth studio album Collections From The Whiteout on 26th March. It's a record far removed from his debut, with the press release describing it as "songs written from headlines scanned, or news stories scrolled past. Ben has taken those snippets and let his curiosity take control, creating an aural scrapbook that reverberates with tape loops and guitar FXs." 

Produced alongside Aaron Dessner (The National, Sharon Van Etten, Taylor Swift) this is the first of Ben's records to have production from outside of Ben and his band. Aaron brought his extensive contact list along for the ride, and alongside longstanding guitarist of Ben's band Mickey Smith, the record features Yussef Dayes (one of the UK's most innovative young drummer/producer's), Kate Stables from This Is The Kit, James Krivchenia from Big Thief, Kyle Keegan from Hiss Golden Messenger, and Aaron himself. As well as Thomas Bartlett (St Vincent's go-to pianist) and Rob Moose (string arranger for Bon Iver and collaborator of Laura Marling, Blake Mills and Phoebe Bridgers). 

Talking about the video, which was shot in Bulgaria and directed by Cloe Bailly, Ben comments that "this was a nonsense idea loosely thrown together on the Old English rhyme, 'back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other' with a bit of animal hysteria thrown in. Cloe somehow transformed a basic countryside shoot 'em up into an amazing tale of delightful retribution. Cloe is a queen of dark comedy and I'm so grateful that as friends we got to work together on it. The eclectic Bulgarian cast and crew somehow managed to pull this off in strange times. It was all the more entertaining in a completely foreign language."  

Pre-order/pre-save the new record Collections From The Whiteout here.

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