A Question Blown Into the Night Air: Benjamin Francis Leftwich


“Take me to the docks, there is a ship without a name, and it is sailing to the middle of the sea.”

Long and intricate as his own name may sound, it is the fascination for the nameless that Benjamin Francis Leftwich evokes in his songs. With his voice and guitar, he quietly conjures the sublimity of the sea, the intuitive anticipation, or the insecurity of a plan. He summons the attraction of new beginnings, and the inexplicability of memory and fear. Everywhere, an aura of the nameless and the fleeting inhabit the fabric of his lyrics. And just as mellow is his singing: smooth on the surface and delicate within, like a silk scarf covering a fatal wound, as sad and calm as a smile upon an irreversible goodbye.

The 22-year old singer-songwriter was born in York, England, and started playing guitar when he was merely ten years old. Throughout all those years of embracing music he surely has grown up to become the handsome young man he is now, nevertheless he has lost nothing of his authenticity. Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s music does not only get under your skin, but it gets under every layer of skin separately. It is innocent and corrupt, beautiful and devastating, yearning and brutal, it encompasses all shades of emotions, and yet each layer is subtle enough to escape its cliché.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Pictures by blurasis

After his first EP “A Million Miles Out” in 2010, and the “Pictures” EP in 2011, the artist has released his very first album “Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm” in 2011 – a work which has earned much acclaim as a hidden masterpiece. Hidden, because of its modesty. “Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm” may well need a moment of your quiet attention. That might be one of its weaknesses, but it also is its very strength; because after all, the album is more a question than an answer, an insecurity blown out into the night air, some time before the snowstorm.
Benjamin’s last single “Shine” was released in November 2011. Make sure to check out his Myspace page and of course all those beautifully filmed videos on his YouTube channel.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Shine by wattesnl