Singer. Songwriter. Acoustic music lover. Festival performer. Ben Smith has been many things since the start of his music career. Now, he must add one attribute to the list: producer of a debut E.P. The collection, entitled Streets, was released on September 21st, and is a four-song long example of exactly what makes Smith an up-and-coming talent.
Streets kicks off with Coming Home. Acoustic guitar backs a slow start to the tune. It’s a small production song, definitely not all-singing, all-dancing. But let’s not forget, a lot can be said for simple songs without the bells and whistles attached. Sometimes just a guy and his guitar is what you’re after.
Second on the release, Flower, begins with an acoustic guitar again. The tone for these tracks is being set in stone early. I suppose there’s only so much a single acoustic artist can achieve, only so many changes that can be made when you’re voice is clearly made for indie productions.
With melancholy lyrics and very slow instrumentals – this is a song for a rainy day. There’s no cheer to be had. In that respect, the lone guitar marries well to the vocals.
Festivals starts the same once again. However, the introduction of another voice element – a shadow – gives another level to this tune. I find myself happy to hear it; whilst it has to be said I enjoy this collection so far, I don’t know if an entire collection can survive without a little variation.
The album’s title track is exactly this – a little variation. Slightly heavier guitar replaces the slow strumming of the other songs on the album track-list. Slow, melancholy vocals are once again a major part of this track.
The title track in any collection holds a purpose, and I think Smith has picked the strongest song to name his E.P. after. There seems to be a livelier element to this tune – probably helped by the different levels of guitar used and the introduction of another voice shadow.