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4.9 out of 5 stars
The Burgh Island EP
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
Ben Howard being amazing, yet again... These songs are a lot darker than his Every Kingdom album but just as beautiful. Plus this download is £1+ cheaper than iTunes who bumped up the price as soon as they realised the EP was going to be popular! Love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2012
I have listened to Ben Howards "Every Kingdom£ album for the past year and have loved its summery vibe but I am very pleased to see that Ben went down the road of a darker broodier wintery sound, similar to that of "black Flies" from Every Kingdom.

All 4 tracks are outstanding in their own right and fits perfectly with the season upon us.
Be very intersting to see which route he goes down for his next full album..

Ben is a very underated musician within the industry, but when you hear him you will fall in love with him.
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on 13 December 2012
I am a massive fan of Ben and this new ep has definately lived up to my expectations! His first album 'Every Kingdom' has been one of my favourites this year and I absolutely love every single song on the CD, so when Ben brought out this new EP I was worried whether I would like the songs because they are a different sound from the acousticy tracks on 'Every Kingdom', and I was adament that he would not be able to top the songs from that album, especially 'Keep Your Head Up'and 'Black Flies' which are my absolute favourites! However, from the first 10 seconds of the lead song 'Burgh Island' I knew I was going to love the whole EP. Although he songs are different to the style of 'Every Kingdom' they are still typical Ben, with his instantaniously recognisable voice, references to nature and the depth that he seems to be able to capture in every song he writes. I like to think of this EP as Ben showing us his dark side, like he is taking us on a journey to a different part his soul than the more upbeat one that was shown to us in 'Every Kingdom'.
I love the darkness of the songs and how they are so hauntingly beautiful, especially the final part of 'Burgh Island', sung by Monica Heldal which gives me goose bumps every time! This is the perfect album for Winter and I love laying in bed at night listening to the songs before I go to sleep. I would reccommend this EP to anyone and at £2.99 it is an absolute bargain!
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on 7 August 2013
This EP is a darker and, dare I say, an 'experimental' progression from his previous Every Kingdom album. This is very much the case for the opening track 'Esmerelda' which then leads on to the superb 'Oats In The Water' (referring to oats in the water after a storm, I think - could be wrong). Not sure what else to say about this song other than it's moody & brilliant and, unlike the other tracks, would have fitted in on the Every Kingdom album.
The third track has the same moody intentions as the first. In fact both the 1st & 3rd tracks remind me of This Mortal Coil (80s 4AD Records group) - no bad thing at all.
All closes with title track 'Burgh Island', featuring Ben singing over seductive guitar played over indecipherable background sounds. Personally, I'm not totally sure about this one AND its over 8 mins long. It changes tack halfway through to virtually a different song - think maybe its going to grow on me. (I get the feeling that maybe he's influenced by the Fleet Foxes' habit of cobbling two songs together here.)
I also think that this EP is Ben's warning that his next album ain't gonna be much like Every Kingdom! (Weep, you poor souls)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Having been a late convert to Ben Howard's "Every Kingdom" its been a fascinating task tracing his development. On that album it is the uplifting songs that drag you into his musical tent; the pounding "The Wolves" and the soundtrack for any summer "Old Pines", On this latest EP "The Burgh Island" it is black seas and darker clouds on the cover that replace the bright sunlight breaking through the blue water of "Every Kingdom". It signals an altogether bleaker and more menacing focus in the songs of Ben Howard and also the tell tale signs that he is developing into a much more powerful and considered songwriter. True on "Every Kingdom" there were songs such as "Black flies" that showed his ability to inject a wintery chill but on "The Burgh Island" the mood is overwhelmingly brooding and slightly heavy. Who knows what demons this small island just off the coast of Devon hold for Howard but this EP release is expertly timed to anticipate the shifts of the changing seasons. Howard recognised this in a recent interview when he stated "I think I like the autumn, because it's kind of ominous. Winter's just behind it, but everything's sleepier and it's quite cool, but you know everything's going to get dark real soon,".

Throughout the expert finger-picking guitar style of Howard is the perfect rolling backdrop to these hymns of melancholy. Opener "Esmeralda" starts with building chords and a plaintive mood that references "black seas", the "monster that killed the melody of love" and a powerful verse where Howard observes "Blinded, now I see the death, moves amongst us /And with such ease surround us /These silent beasts so hard to bare". Its stirring stuff and builds to a large impressive crescendo. If anything the granite like "Oats in the Water" takes an even darker turn and shows growing maturity with any residual surfing jibes about him being the "British Jack Johnson" rendered completely redundant as it all ends in an angry swirl of electric guitar. It is the third track however "To be alone" that sees Howard effectively employing new soundscapes to punctuate his work. It starts like a Thom Yoke song with ghostly echoing guitar until a more conventional song emerges where the distinctive vocal is probably the best on the whole EP. Finally things do ease somewhat for the near seven minute title track which has a more "chill out" set of atmospherics and is a beautifully slow lament that gently unfolds overs over an echo laden Fender until around the five minute mark when the gorgeous voice of Norwegian newcomer Monica Heldal breaks through to bring the song to a haunting conclusion. This is very fine EP by Howard and probably sets the direction of travel for the sophomore album that he is currently working on. Its good to see that he is not content to rest on his laurels and all of this augers well for the future.
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on 19 December 2012
This EP really shows Ben Howard going in new directions - something impressive for an artist not yet to release a follow up to his acclaimed début album.

The songs on this record have a much more electronic feel to them, the guitars coming through a lot more prominently than on Howard's older material. This creates a slightly less acoustic vibe in places, however, the listener never loses the connection between themselves and the singer - this is to say that as a songwriter, Ben's ability shines through this work, forging an intimacy which is often lost with bigger bands, yet remains strong in this EP, allowing for a strong; in places emotionally charged; collection of songs. Well deserving of a place in any record collection, it's safe to say that Ben Howard has done it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2012
This E.p was such a good investment, am a big fan of Ben Howard and was really excited for Burgh Island to come out; it certainly hasnt disappointed! It is a lot more mellow and haunting than his Album,Which just shows what a great artist Ben Howard is.
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on 24 February 2013
I needn't comment on the actual MP3 because it is like every other one. I will say however it's slightly irritating to have to download the special amazon programme to be able to download it, because I very rarely download music. I only downloaded this because this is the only way I can get the music.

I love Ben Howard, and I love this EP because it is refreshingly dark. It's a darker turn on his more melodic tunes and I do rather love it. I'd recommend it to anybody who loves Ben Howard, or who likes darker folk music.

I keep saying dark, I know. I don't know how to describe it, but if you listen to it, you'd understand why I keep using this term.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
I Love this ep, and Ben's performance of these tracks in his live show is awsome. Would reccomend it to all Ben's fans although some might find the songs a bit darker than his more popular stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2012
There is more of an electric sound to this EP compared with Every Kingdom but I really enjoyed the new direction. It suits Ben Howards voice, giving the tracks an overall deeper sound.
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