EP Review Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Pictures4-5 Stars
If his debut album matches the quality of ‘Pictures’, it will be, quite simply, magnificent.
Here we have another young man with a faintly preposterous name, sporting designer stubble and singing delicate, folksy guitar songs whilst wearing too many items of knitted clothing. You could be forgiven, deeply sceptical reader, for suspecting that ‘Pictures’ by Benjamin Francis Leftwich would not be a particularly exciting EP. However, you’d be wrong to be so supercilious about Leftwich; for if his debut album matches the quality of the four tracks found in ‘Pictures’, it will be, quite simply, magnificent.
The use of guitar in Leftwich’s music provides a gentle, serene backdrop to each track. Every carefully considered pluck of the strings in ‘See You Soon’ and title song ‘Pictures’ works to effortlessly bounce off a deeply evocative lyrical performance. Whilst the guitar hands each melody a contented and engaging tone, the overall tone of this EP is made more complex by the quizzical innocence found within the lyrics. The best example of this paradox is probably found within ‘Sophie’ in which Leftwich ponders “Oh Sophie will you be my good friend?/Oh Sophie will you be here in the end?”
These acoustics have been described as “haunting”. This is not inaccurate, as the raw simplicity of the melodies and the emotional innocence of the lyrics are no doubt strengthened by Leftwich’s ethereal and often-times ghost-like voice. However, ‘Pictures’ is far more complex than it is simply haunting – perhaps entrancing would be a more apt word. We can only hope this high standard is maintained when the album comes out later this year.
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