​Review: As One by Ben Stafford

Words by: Verity Hesketh

Unlike Ben Stafford’s debut single, Open Arms, As One holds none of the unease of its predecessor. This is a true, honest-to-god love song. However, it’s not only a homage to the unnamed lover who slumbers by Ben’s side, but to the place that continues to inspire him. Ben Stafford is truly in the midst of a self-confessed love affair with the rocks, waves, scudding clouds and barren outcrops that make up the wild, salty brilliance that is Cornwall.

There’s something in Cornwall’s air and water that clearly inspires so many artists; maybe apart from its wild beauty, its sheer sense of physical isolation sets it apart from the rest of our island country. Ben’s warm, gentle vocals sooth and ripple gently like waves in the shallows, overlapping and lightly rising and falling, perfectly in harmony with his customary finger-picked acoustic style. Listen closely, and you can not only pick out something of Cornwall’s elements, but minute fragments of the recording studio.  

Although Ben Stafford’s influences from Ben Howard are still plain to see, Stafford to a certain extent has broken away from Howard, in a way that makes him discernible, though to the casual listener, the resemblance is still undoubtedly striking and difficult to escape. 

As far as mellow, easy listening goes, this song is right up there with the best of them; you can almost sense golden hour slipping away into a mellow night by the gentle hum of the last refrain. 

‘As One’ is now available on all streaming platforms.

Instagram: @benstaffordmusic
Listen to Ben’s track here: As One