artists

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

‘Singer-songwriter’ is not a term embraced by many musicians. Too often the phrase is used to denote generic clichés, excessive emotional angst or middle-of-the-road blandness. But 21-year-old Benjamin Francis Leftwich feels it’s far from insulting; ‘My songs are personal and acoustic guitar based so why not? I am a singer-song-writer.’ With influences including Elliot Smith, The Beatles, Kate Bush, Ryan Adams, Sigur Ros and Bruce Springsteen, his floaty, melancholic vocals and deft finger-picking lie somewhere between Jose Gonzales and Iron and Wine.

A self-taught guitarist, Leftwich has had plenty of time to perfect his craft; he began playing at the age of ten and realised early on that song-writing was a natural means of expression to him. ‘I like the way a song can grab you for a couple of minutes and take you somewhere, and how the different elements in a track can make you feel.’ Growing up on a diet of The Rolling Stones and Nina Simone, Leftwich discovered Placebo, Bob Dylan and Elliot Smith in his teens and quickly began playing out on the York music scene.

His debut LP ‘Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm‘ reached the UK album charts top 40 in 2011, and he is currently in the studio working on his much anticipated follow up, set for release in summer 2015.