Meet Benjamin Francis Leftwich, whilst he might bare the sort of triple barrel name more common among the wealthy suburbs of Surrey, he’s from a different neck of the woods entirely.
Yes, he is an acoustic musician so comparisons to Ed Sheeran are bound to rack up in droves, but the young man from Yorkshire’s debut ‘Last Smoke Before the Snow Storm’ is a deeply personal record.
Opener ‘Pictures’ welcomes you gently through the front door brandishing a soothing plucking riff and harmonies that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jose Gonzales number and while single ‘Atlas Hands‘ (below) is a wonderful tale of past visited places with a person from the past, it has a knack of drawing a smile one moment and making you want to drown yourself in the ocean the next.
Sounding initially like a Texan dawn ‘Stole You Away’ rivets along pleasantly and has perhaps the most depth on the album, progressing into something that could have soundtracked an episode of the O.C.
Such brilliance on one track does make others a bit scarce in places as simple guitar and soothing vocals are favoured just a little too much on some occassions
On the surface it would be easy to file this record under ‘Sunday morning music’, but there is actually enough dark idiosyncrasies to riddle even the most thorough psychiatrist.
Take closing tracks ‘Last Smoke before the Snow Storm’ and ‘Don’t Go Slow’, both brilliant examples of Leftwich’s talent in two completely separate ways. Where the former shows BFL’s effortless and natural instinct to write blissfully peaceful songs the latter reveals just how tortured a young 21 year old’s song-writing can be.
At only 31 minutes long ‘Last Smoke before the Snow Storm‘ is somewhat over before it starts, however if the title is to be believed Benjamin Francis Leftwich has more up his sleeve on the way.
Update: Above is a short film made by Benjamin and his friend pip in the run up to the release of his debut album. There is also an exclusive acoustic performance of ‘Box of Stones’. New single ‘Atlas Hands’ is out on 4th September. Enjoy!