This has taken far too long and, as such, I won’t bugger on about it for too long. Sufficed to say, Barna Howard’s self-titled debut album came out, it’s brilliant, you should buy it. Every review I’ve seen so far has compared him to a different revered folk guiter-pickster, which can only be a good thing – I’ll be sticking with my strident Dylan comparison for now, but if you remind every listener of someone else amazing, you’re doing something very, very well.
The album itself delivers on the first single’s promise; a collection of sparsely recorded, maudlin tales that manage that difficult line between the personal and the universal. Reminiscences on fading careers, lost family and heartbreak that are easy to relate to, but difficult to dissociate from the singer. It’s an odd thing, really, because after an album of songs that could so easily be described in exactly the same way (nasally-voiced man with guitar sings sad song), there’s not a moment of the repetition I feel in far more dynamic bands’ albums. There’s something innately special in someone confident enough to put out an album like this and to pull it off so spectacularly.
Unfortunately, there’s no embedding available for anything other than the first single, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it is. Get this listened to immediately.