I’m almost livid at myself for not immediately recognizing the amazing talent oozing out of Benjamin Francis Leftwich until my 14 year-old sister pointed it out. But for what it’s worth, I’m glad I listened. I plug to you 21-year old singer/songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich a native from York, England.
I find it interesting that Leftwich has decided to be known by his full name in a case where most artists tend to shorten their legal names or more often than not, alternatively come up with a catchy stage name. Leftwich grew up listening to artists such as The Rolling Stones and Nina Simone and by the tender age of 10, unsurprisingly could play the guitar and piano. Fast-forward to more recent years and a drive to pursue his musical talent, Leftwich released his first EP A Million Miles Hit in October 2010. Another EP Pictures followed in early 2011 before the release of the the Ian Grimble-produced Last Smoke before the Snowstorm; his debut album in July 2011. The debut album and previous EPs were all released under the Dirty Hit label.
The first track I plug to you is the third track from the album titled “1904“. The record starts off with an organ sound for the first 20 seconds before an acoustic guitar riff is heard playing, forming what would be the baseline for the track. Leftwich’s somewhat raspy and mellow voice laces the very minimalistic instrumental accompanied with soft harmonies categorizing this track somewhere between Folk and acoustic Pop music. The standout feature on this song has to be it’s chorus which is then followed by a violin solo orchestrated so perfectly, it sounds like something out of a movie that you never want to end. On this song, Leftwichsings about a time in his past and how he’s grown from then to now with changes ‘she’ should notice – almost sounding like he needs a sort of acknowledgement.
A more upbeat turn to Leftwich’s sound can be heard on our third and final plug – a song titled “Atlas Hands“. A joining of multiple stringed instruments make up the complete sound effects on this while on backing vocals, we hear a female voice that meshes well with Leftwich’s soft spoken and almost angelic voice. On “Atlas Hands“, Leftwich sings beautifully about an unexpected romance that blossoms into much more between two people who are seemingly based in different parts of the world with lyrics such as, “the stars are the only thing we share”. I especially like the mellow appeal of the track with its soothing guitar strings and I almost feel there should be a second part to the song – maybe on his second album – as this Pop Folk track makes for a really great listen.