The first thing you notice is the voice. Haunting and sublimely other-worldly, it stops you in your tracks with the gentlest of touches, proving that sometimes the intoxicating simplicity of a single voice is all you need to make an impact. With Benjamin Francis Leftwich, that hypnotic, breathy voice is the reason for it all. It exposes his soul before anyone even hears the lyrics, letting the listener in to Benjamin's most intimate world in a way no interview or video ever could. It is the essence of his being, laid bare without regret for us to share. Not just your average singer-songwriter then.
Indeed, there's nothing ordinary about this startling new talent, who is just 21 and has yet to release his first album but who sounds like he already has a lifetime of experiences, hopes and shattered dreams invested in each song. He has, in fact, been waiting for this moment for years. At the age of 10, Yorkshire born Benjamin first stared playing guitar, ditching his teacher after just a couple of lessons and teaching himself from the records that inspired him instead. Growing up on a diet of Rolling Stones and Nina Simone, Benjamin discovered Bob Dylan and Elliot Smith in his teens and never looked back. By 15, he was writing songs and playing with a band on the York music scene, before starting work as a solo artist at 18 and beginning to write what now makes up his forthcoming debut album 'Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm'.
'Pictures' was released on February 20th as a single, going onto the 'B' list at Radio 1 at prompting Fearne Cotton to invite Ben into the Radio 1 Live Lounge. He also performed a live session on BBC6 Music for Marc Riley and XFM for Mary-Anne Hobbs the same week. XFM added the single to their Daytime Playlist and Q Radio to their 'A' list. The video has achieved around 900k plays on youtube.