Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

18th February 2022

York-based English singer songwriter, back touring in support of a new album.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s fourth album comes with a heavy title: To Carry a Whale. “It’s an observation on what it’s like to be a sober alcoholic addict a couple of years in,” he explains. “A whale is heavy to carry. It’s gonna hurt you to carry it. But it’s also beautiful, and it’s a miracle to be able to carry all that at all.”

London-based Yorkshireman Leftwich is now 31 and a decade away from his debut album, when he was one of the first signings to the Dirty Hit label – still his home alongside The 1975, Wolf Alice and Beabadoobee.

Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm cracked the top 40 in 2011 and included Shine – a cute, romantic indie folk ballad that was remixed by tropical house king Kygo and named by Spotify their “most addictive song of 2014”, as the song that was repeat-played most often that year. He operated at the forefront of that wave of young men with acoustic guitars and big feelings to express – Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, James Vincent McMorrow – a style that never shouted, but proved highly popular. At that time, however, aspirations to do something addictive had a much darker meaning.

This fourth album is the first one that he has written and recorded entirely sober, a state he has maintained since spending 28 days in rehab in January 2018. Today his soft voice is lower and richer and the music, produced with Sam “Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly” Duckworth is spare and clear, the better to experience lyrics that sound more like painfully honest diary entries than emblematic poetry. 

Leftwich is inordinately proud to have come this far, still with the same label, who stuck with him when his initial hype had stilled and his personal life was shaken. “I’m much happier than when I was trying to control the show or attach my value to all these other things like the sales or the radio play or the blue tick. That never works,” he says. “My heart has always been in the songs. Now my head is in them as well.”

http://www.benjaminfrancisleftwich.com/

Supports:

Wounded Bear
Somewhere between the noir of Leonard Cohen, dusky vibrance of Wong Kar-wai, and wry wit of Phoebe Bridgers you’ll find Josh Finn of Wounded Bear, bringing his own pop edge to folk inflected songwriting. Pinpointing the bittersweet moments that make us human, he sets them to a soundtrack of intricate finger-style guitar, with relationships and memory often the central focus. Josh is currently adding the finishing touches to his sophomore EP, with Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.) in the production seat. This, as well as preparing for a UK tour in support of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, means Wounded Bear has a very busy year ahead.
https://www.facebook.com/woundedbearuk/

Elanor Moss
Alt-folk songwriter Elanor Moss explores themes of trauma, loss, recovery and memory on her haunting and beautiful forthcoming debut EP ‘Citrus’. Influenced by the storytelling of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Phoebe Bridgers and Sharon van Etten and with an English-ness offset by an American heritage, Elanor was discovered on the open mic circuit in York whilst an undergraduate in English Literature. Recently signed to Blue Raincoat Artists (Phoebe Bridgers, Cigarettes After Sex), Citrus will be released in early 2022. Whilst working on her debut EP, she collaborated with Benjamin Francis Leftwich (Dirty Hit) on his 2019 single 'Elephant' and is set to join him as support for his 2022 UK Tour.
https://www.facebook.com/elanor.moss/

All Tickets £16.
Doors open 7.30pm.
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