For Ben Marwood, just releasing ‘Get Found’ is a real triumph. Having taken nearly half a decade out of the limelight due to health reasons, it very nearly halted the career of Xtra Mile’s darling son. Thankfully, things have a funny way of fixing themselves and the UK folk/rock scene is ready to welcome Ben back with open arms.
Opener ‘Punched In The Mouth (Part 1)’ gives some measure of just how much life has changed for Ben with a thoughtful monologue from his young son punctuated with the unmistakable vocals of a true English gem. ‘The Church of No Commandments’ kicks things off properly with powerful guitar work, inspired banjo playing and rousing vocals paying homage to troubled times. “We’ll sing through every chorus as if we can stave off death” seems all the more poignant on an album far from inevitable.
‘In Black and White’ and ‘Enraptured’ never stray far from Ben’s humble roots as an acoustic singer/songwriter with a focus on from-the-heart melodies, but these roots are toyed with on tracks like ‘DNFTTTS’, a piano interval full of tender appreciation, and ‘Nights’, chugging on to the most uplifting chorus about death you will ever hear.
At points ‘Get Found’ is dark, but there is a feeling of defiance and optimism that ultimately prevails, like on ‘I’m Wide Awake It’s Boring’ where Ben confesses “I’m not dead, I’m not dying, I just can’t get up”. This collection of songs could easily portray an artist fraught by a journey that could have ended everything, instead Ben has returned from the edge and in spectacular fashion.
‘Get Found’ demands attention. Clever storytelling is packaged in a flawless continuation of a tale begging to be told. Relatable and powerful yet approached with care and a clear devotion to his art, Ben Marwood is back, and with an album as good as this, that is something that truly deserves celebration.
‘Get Found’ by Ben Marwood is out now on Xtra Mile Recordings.
Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)