Returning from the incredible 2014 debut, Benjamin Booker’s latest offering sees the 26-year-old rising star confidently branch into new territory without stumble or falter.

Thought that it looked like he started to run

Thought it looked like he had a gun

Thought that it looked like he started to run

Am I gonna be a witness?

Moving on from his precocious, delta-blues-influenced first album, Witness brings new elements into Benjamin Booker’s musical arsenal without straying too far from the black Americana from which his early work stemmed. Spirituality, especially in the form of soulful gospel-like choruses, is a welcome development – but it’s Booker’s uniquely political stance that feels the most important.

Landing with perfect grace in a time of turmoil, tension and fear – Witness brings a different form of black voice to the music world in a time that truly needs more artists like these. The themes of Black Lives Matter and the political landscape might feel at home in hip hop – however, Booker presents these well-trodden ideas in a new light, creating a sound stemming from a different musical sensibility that feels intimately connected to its subject matter.

Although Witness is still firmly-rooted in its folk, blues and gospel influences it seems more like a step forward for the artist. Fans of Booker’s earlier harsh guitar sounds may be disappointed by the new direction, but those in search of another beautiful development in Booker’s musical exploration are bound to appreciate this incredible album.

Witness is available to purchase now through Rough Trade UK


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