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Ben Walker Ben Walker
Album: Rings/The Island
Label: Folkroom
Tracks: 2

TOTAL GUITAR Magazine recently proclaimed Ben Walker one of the best acoustic guitarists in the world right now. He is also a versatile produced and acclaimed musician with a knack of putting old jewels in new settings, combining old and new like no one else.

‘Rings’ opens with the fragile majesty of George Maynard singing ‘A Sailor In The North County’, while around strings build atmospherically. Resolution is a hypnotically beautiful rolling guitar, strings and electronics piece. Violins soar while Ben’s endless guitar lays down shimmering fractured textures. The end result is simply stunning and very pastoral sounding. More minimalism electronica, Steve Reich or even Mike Oldfield than the spectral chamber folk on SEEDLINGS ALL his 2018 album with Josienne Clarke. ‘The Island’ features the beautiful vocals of Bella Hardy accompanying Ben’s aching but restrained finger picking acoustic guitar. Bella and Ben are perfectly suited, both leaving space in their music, building atmosphere and tension. It’s hard to argue with TOTAL GUITAR Magazine, he isn’t flashy or showy, everything serves the song and the moment, but the music Ben Walker creates is quietly majestic and atmospheric. ECHO the album follows early in July and on the strength of these two tracks its going to be amazing.

Marc Higgins