Hailing from York, Benjamin Francis Leftwich is singer-songwriter with soul and with a story that fuels the poignancy of his new record ‘After the Rain’. Losing his father to cancer and going into a shell surrounded by the walls of his departed parent’s home, he began to fall into the trap of implosion. Emerging from this dark time comes ‘After the Rain’, an album packed with beautiful melodies and sense of hope after loss.
Don’t be fooled however; this is not a wholly melancholic record. While the album opens sorrowfully with ‘Tilikum’ the mood slightly lifts with ‘Some Other Arms’ and this sets the pattern for the record. There are moments of reflection and those of renewal following tragedy. ‘Groves’ is especially heart-wrenching with Leftwich’s aforementioned father playing the subject of this emotional song. His hushed tones combined with the simple yet desperate plea of ‘Don’t go!’ prove very effective in conveying his grief. This may well encourage a few tears.
His hushed tones combined with the simple yet desperate plea of ‘Don’t go!’ prove very effective in conveying his grief. This may well encourage a few tears.
Elsewhere, ‘Summer’ falls into the category of renewal. However, with Leftwich’s serene vocal accompanying both moods, it does present a slight issue of indistinguishable effect for me. The same tone used for both the mourning and recovery makes the overall experience a tad cloudy. However, while the vocal tone doesn’t vary, Leftwich certainly makes up for it with the instrumentation. ‘Mayflies’ is a particular favourite for its major chords and vibrant guitar and percussion and ‘Just As I Was Waking Up’ provides a perfectly poignant, but regrettably short sign off for this bundle of emotions.
‘After the Rain’ expresses the very strong feelings of its author, however, it may not necessarily be an album you will have on repeat. This is a relatable and deep record for those who have had similar experiences and will be played when the time and mood are right.
By Will Hunt
A mixture of melancholy and positivity
Consistent vocal tone occasional clouds emotional intention.
Relatable for some – with very deep inspiration.
Watch the music video for ‘Tilikum’ below:
|2. Some Other Arms|
|3. She Will Sing|
|4. Kicking Roses|
|6. Just Breathe|
|7. Cocaine Doll|
|9. Day by Day|
|12. Frozen Moor|
|13. Just as I Was Waking Up|