I first encountered Benjamin Francis Leftwich as a support artist for Lisa Mitchell back in March. At the time I was far more excited for the other support act and Lisa herself, so I guess I didn’t give his set my complete attention. Six months later and he’s back on my radar with the release of A Million Miles Out.

My main memories of him from his short live set were his soft voice and his songs which, I then said, could have done with being more upbeat. Whilst he hasn’t changed much about his musical style, I feel that I enjoyed this record a lot more than that brief set earlier this year. With just four songs on the EP, I got a chance to explore all four in detail and really give each track a chance to shine, changing my opinion of the York born songwriter.

Atlas Hands heads up the EP and just so happens to be my favourite track. The verses and chorus blend into each other subtly, without making the fatal error of allowing the song to seem as though it wasn’t going anywhere. Additional female vocals are provided by Hayley Hutchinson which add layers to the song making for pleasant listening.

A talented craftsman, Leftwich matches his lyrics with his enjoyable acoustic guitar playing. In More Than Letters, Leftwich knows when to let the words do the talking and when to let the instrument take the lead. His lyrics are filled with metaphors in Maps – and I can’t help but admire anyone who effortlessly creates songs around a solid metaphor! As for Hole In My Hand? The vocals are truly haunting to begin with. These soft tones complement a slow tempo and are aided, once more, by the female backing vocals.

All in all, I was wrong for not giving him a proper chance when I first discovered him. I don’t admit to being wrong often, so that shows that there is something pretty special about his music! With a headline tour accompanying this release and a new album in the pipeline, I strongly recommend checking Leftwich out if you’re looking to be entertained by soft vocals, acoustic guitar playing and clever lyrics.

www.myspace.com/benjaminfrancisleftwich

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