Single Review: Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Pictures – Released Feb 20th 2012

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

2011 has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for Benjamin Francis Leftwich as he was propelled from a virtually unknown artist to a regular radio hit. Following a sell-out tour in October last year he kicks off 2012 with a series of headline shows, touring the UK throughout February.

His latest single release Pictures is taken from his critically acclaimed debut album Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm. It is already a firm fan-favourite and brings Benjamin’s haunting melancholic sound truly into focus. With just a basic acoustic guitar picked lightly underneath, the sound is sparse and exposed. I am not over keen on the amount of reverb Benjamin seems to favour on his voice – and it can sometimes come across as slightly lacklustre. However, there is a certain folk essence about it that is incredibly charming.

There is no denying that the sound is quite beautiful, but it is also simple in structure. There is little development or exploration in regards to the music, instead it enters a trance-like state, repeating over. It’s hardly a catchy hit with a memorable hook but then that’s not what Benjamin Leftwich is exactly about.

It is a case of horses for courses… If you already love Benjamin’s sound then Pictures will be for you. It is a haunting and beautiful track with a strong folk vibe behind it and if that’s not your thing then best to stay away.