I’ve become accustomed over the years to hearing songs about the adolescent experience through the lens of American musicians. It’s something artists in my home nation rarely seem to do, instead focusing on other subject matters regarding their transitional period to adulthood, or just briefly mentioning it as a lyric. That’s when Cardiff’s own Ben Ellis comes into the frame, writing one from the perspective of a British university student, terrified of growing older, and yearning to go back to their teenage years again. Throw in some comparisons to Ed Sheeran and it becomes clear that Ben Ellis has a pop hit on his hands.
Ed’s House is reminiscent of Castle On The Hill in many ways, but there’s an underlying sense of optimism that radiates from the warmness of Ben’s voice that separates the two. With lyrics that allow you to insert yourself into the narrative, “We’ll play teenage dirtbag on repeat / cause we don’t know what to do at 17,” you’ll soon get vivid flashbacks to your adolescence and share his feelings about not wanting to grow up. Luckily though he gives us a few moments of nostalgia, reliving our youth through his candid storytelling and infectious melodies.