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Ben Morgan-Brown - Cold Rooms EP (Self Release)

Having just lent my thoughts to the debut album by Midnight Skyracer, the recently formed Anglo-Irish all-female bluegrass quintet, we turn to another Josh Clark-produced release, this time the third EP by Exeter-based singer-songwriter and guitar player Ben Morgan-Brown. Ben's fluid acoustic guitar sound is put to good use here on these five self-penned songs, one of which is a delicate instrumental. There’s shades of Nick Drake here and a little Nick Harper there, and probably one or two other Nicks along the way, together with a certain Bert, yet Ben manages to inject enough of his own personality and delicate style to give these songs their own identity.

I'm reminded of Elliott Smith for some reason, possibly in the personal treatment of such songs as Sunken Treasure and No More Fooling. Seen as a turning point in his musical endeavours, Ben reflects on the last few years of his life, which have seen him marry, divorce, lose several important people and spend a month in hospital after being poisoned in Morocco, all of which would make anyone catch their breath for a moment, and with COLD ROOMS, Ben appears to have done just that.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky