English singer-songwriter Ben Howard is ready to release a new album, and its first offering has made the long wait for new music worth it.
“A Boat To An Island On The Wall” is the first new piece of music from Howard since 2014’s excellent full-length I Forget Where We Were, which saw Howard move from playing intimate venues in LA like the El Rey to playing the Greek Theatre and Shrine. He’s announced his first live tour dates since 2015 — all in Europe — which sold out instantly. His new album titled Noonday Dream will drop June 1 via Republic Records (pre-order the album here).
The new track is a seven-minute epic, with the kind of slow build we’ve come to expect from Howard. The first signs of faint acoustic guitar comes in about 40 seconds into the track, and Howard’s tantalizing vocals follows shortly thereafter. As usual, Howard’s lyrics are poetic as hell, and at almost four-and-a-half-minutes in, an electric guitar really kicks things into high gear underneath the chorus: “Boat to an island on the wall / A hand striking in slow motion / Future singing in the field / Shooting season’s open.” Give it a listen below:
I’m listening to an advance copy of this new album while typing this up and I can already tell I’ll be playing it on repeat. Howard wowed me when I first saw him at the El Rey in October 2014 with his high-level musicianship and talented five-piece backing band. I can’t wait for some North American tour dates to get added, hopefully later in the year.