HOMETOWN: Totnes, Devon, England
influences: Nick Drake, John Martyn, Van Morrison
ALBUM: Every Kingdom, due out in April
Howard picked up his mother’s guitar when he was 8, inspired by his parents’ love for folky singer-songwriters of the 1960s and ’70s. “That’s what we’d listen to in the house and in the car,” he says. His debut album was recorded in cellist India Bourne’s barn in the English countryside, and was produced by Howard’s drummer, Chris Bond. “Nobody knows the music like we do,” Howard says. “Chris is brilliant at capturing a mood and an atmosphere, so we kept close to what we know so well.” The results replicate the intimate sound that Howard, Bourne and Bond have created while touring the continent together. “I think people can hear that when the band and I play, we really mean it,” he says. “I have always written songs that draw on my own emotions, and I don’t want to try and hide any of it. I guess everyone relates to raw emotion.” Every Kingdom, a Top 10 hit in the U.K. upon its release there late last year, will be out stateside in April.