Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm / Album Review
Benjamin Francis Leftwich (BFL) is an artist that’s been buzzing online for about 2 years. After two EPs, a few singles, 400,000 youtube views, a tour with Noah & The Whale and his own UK headlining tour, he’s finally ready to release his first LP “Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm”. Honestly, with all of the build up, this album better deliver something people can sink their teeth into.
Although we don’t typically review albums, we got an advance copy of Last Smoke a few days ago so I thought I’d give you a little insight on this highly anticipated debut.
Last Smoke picks up where BFL left off on his Pictures EP. It’s an airy, singer/songwriter inspired album with 10 balladesque tunes that are extremely easy to listen to. That said, as much as they are easy to listen to, they are even easier to listen to over and over and over. This is a very accessible album that brings me back to albums like Iron and Wine’s The Creek Drank the Cradle or even Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Fairytales. Not to say that these albums sound anything alike but they all have a vibe to them that’s perfect for a ton of occasions while appealing to a ton of different people. Where Brushfire Fairytales was “chilllin’ by the beach”, Last Smoke is “chillin by candle light” or maybe even just “chillin” – period. That said, Last Smoke is graced with wonderful details, flourishes and charm that are uniquely Benjamin Francis Leftwich through and through.
Last Smoke includes a combination of tunes that fans will recognize like “Pictures”, “Atlas Hands” and “Box of Stones”, in addition to brand new ones like “Stole You Away” and the spunky-ish “Shine” and “Snowship”. Each song on the album is an example of what people have fallen in love with on Benjamin’s previous efforts. His fluid finger picking, gentle vocals, elegant string arrangements and poetic lyrical play are all present.
Together with producer Ian Grimble (Mumford & Sons, Manic Street Preachers), Benjamin Francis Leftwich proves that he knows how to craft perfect 3 minute diddy’s with polish, shine and finesse. This album is a sure game changer, bringing BFL from “interweb / blog-superstar” to “mainstream / heart breaking / balladeer / superstar”. (Seriously, watch out ladies. This is an album you won’t get enough off). Congrats on your new superstardom Benjamin!
Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm will be available on July 4th. You can pre-order here but until then preview the entire album and download his cover of The Killers “When You Were Young” below.
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/audio/2011/06/Benjamin-Francis-Leftwich.mp3|titles=Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Box of Stones]
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Box of Stones
[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/audio/2011/06/Benjamin Francis Leftwich – When You Were Young.mp3|titles=Benjamin Francis Leftwich – When You Were Young (Killers Cover)]
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – When You Were Young (Killers Cover)