Collections From The Whiteout

Collections From The Whiteout

“We're all trying to find stories and tales that interlink with our own feelings and our own capacity,” Ben Howard tells Apple Music about his fourth studio LP. “I've always felt I've been a little misguided in trying to explain the time that I live in, but you're supposed to; you're trying to explain yourself in these little moments.” The British singer-songwriter became obsessed with, in his own words, “the heroes and villains of our time” as he brought life to them—whether it's the mysterious death of British businessman and amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst (“Crowhurst's Meme”) or the 2018 Horizon Air incident involving a ground service agent who hijacked a commercial plane and crashed (“The Strange Last Flight of Richard Russell”). Working with an outside producer for the first time (The National's Aaron Dessner), Howard invited a broad range of collaborators (This Is the Kit's Kate Stables, multi-instrumentalist Rob Moose, St. Vincent pianist Thomas Bartlett) to help flesh out his hypnotic blend of ambient folk and electronic flourishes. Here, Howard takes us through a few of the album's key songs. What a Day “It's loosely based on a walk in the countryside with an old friend of mine. We were talking clumsily about existentialism and had a great sort of pain that hung between us, and that's really what the song was born from. I'd always come back to that imagery of the British countryside. It was a really crisp blue sky that only those really remote parts of the world have, when it's blindingly white. Ultimately, that's what the imagery is based on. I suppose it does document a relationship in a gentle way.” Finders Keepers “I love the idea that things at any one time can mean multiple things, even something as physical as a suitcase. The story is a very one-dimensional one of a guy following a suitcase down the river. But it's almost about what that suitcase represents for him, and the importance of that thing. It was just one of those where I was playing a lot of guitar through Moog pedals and stuff, and found a really cool lost corner of delays and arpeggiators. This story and this guitar part are married quite nicely at the time, and it gave it the strangeness that the story really is.” Sorry Kid “I guess the song is a bit of a whine, I suppose. I was playing around with a lot of beats, and it was really fun to tinker with a sharp little drum machine which was really easy to play to. I thought I'd just reference a few things that were going on around me, and hope that my beats riffing off the back of it did the talking, really.”

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