Category Archives: Benjamin Francis Leftwich

New-Folk News: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Daughter, Ben Howard, Bombay Bicycle Club

Just to prove that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, here are some delightful news bits. It seems to be a big day for artists in the early part of the alphabet.

Here’s Bombay Bicycle Club’s new video for “Lights Out, Word Gone”, featuring some sweet dancing by cute old people.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich has gained attention for his covers–and has now released a free EP of them. Just by signing up for his mailing list here, you can download five tracks:
1. Pick Up Truck – Kings Of Leon
2. When You Were Young – The Killers
3. Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
4. Rebellion – Arcade Fire
5. Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

A few of these (When You Were Young, Rebellion) have already been in circulation, but these others are new–to me, at least. Check ’em out.

Ben Howard has announced 2012 UK tour dates. Pre-sale begins October 12th at 9am UK time.

13th Feb – Hall for Cornwall, Truro
14th Feb – Pyramids, Portsmouth
15th Feb – Concorde 2, Brighton
16th Feb – HMV Ritz, Manchester
18th Feb – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
19th Feb – Oran Mor, Glasgow
20th Feb – Northumbria University, Newcastle
22nd Feb – Waterfront, Norwich
24th Feb – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
25th Feb – O2 Academy, Oxford
27th Feb – Cockpit, Leeds
28th Feb – HMV Institute, Birmingham
29th Feb – O2 Academy, Bristol

And finally, Daughter has just released The Wild Youth EP, available on UK iTunes and UK Amazon, or Bandcamp (below) worldwide. The EP was produced by Communion’s Ian Grimble.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich Review at Thank Folk for That

I just started writing for Thank Folk for That, an excellent source of info for all things folk. These guys are WAY better than I am about updating, that’s for sure.Here’s a snippet to my first review, of Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm. Click the link below for the rest.

“Benjamin Francis Leftwich may only have one trick up his sleeve, but it’s a successful one. He exhibits an unwavering devotion to low-tempo acoustic numbers; even his covers, which have generated a fair amount of blogosphere buzz, have transformed songs like Arcade Fire’s pulsing “Rebellion (Lies)” into quiet contemplations. Those looking for energetic folk romps à la Mumford & Sons will not find any on the York singer’s debut, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, but they will find an enchanting set of low-key tunes. The album is understated and heartfelt, a cohesive collection that fits very well in the world of earnest, breathy folk.” Read more

Stream Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s Album Now

Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm comes out in the UK on July 4th, but you can stream it here now. It includes several songs from his two EPs–including the beautiful singles “Pictures” and “Atlas Hands”.

Update: BFL just launched a ‘gig in your home’ competition. The performances would be between July 10th and 13th, only in the UK (damn!), and the competition closes at noon July 6th.

All you have to do is: ‘E-mail with your name, age, city/town, your preferred performance date and why you think you should win.’

Check out single “Box of Stones” below:

New-Folk Round-Up: News from the Vaccines, Emmy the Great, Elizabeth Sankey, and Benjamin Francis Leftwich

It’s been a big week for some new-folk staples (even though Justin Young of the Vaccines has abandoned his singer-songwriter roots, he’ll always have a place in my heart). The rock band made their US television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman performing “If You Wanna”, and released their new music video, “All In White” (check it out here). Their highly anticipated album, What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?, will be available May 31st.

Emma Lee Moss (Emmy the Great) and Elizabeth Sankey (the lovely vocalist of Summer Camp) have formed a new band called Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield–yep, named after the Sweet Valley High twins. Though there isn’t much info about the group yet, Wears the Trousers found a Youtube video of their first live performance. The two are also on Twitter as @WakefieldJess and @WakefieldLiz.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich is getting ready for the July 4th release of his album Box of Stones. His music video for the single of the same name came out earlier this month, and the first 1000 people who preorder the album at HMV will receive a special signed version.

Those are all the bits and pieces of news I have at the moment. I’m getting pumped for Noah and the Whale’s first of two San Francisco shows tonight–stay tuned for a review.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich on Zane Lowe with Fleet Foxes

The acoustics in this shed are great.

Got the following pieces of Benjamin Francis Leftwich-related info this morning:

“Tonight I will be performing live from Maida Vale studios for Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show. I shall be joining the wonderful Fleet Foxes on the bill! The show run’s from 7pm – 9pm .
Last night Zane made my new single ‘Box Of Stones’ his ‘Hottest Record in the World’. If you missed the show you can listen back to it by clicking here.

‘Box Of Stones’ is out on June 6th followed by my debut album ‘Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm’ on June 20th.”

UK readers, check it out! A BFL-Fleet Foxes combo sounds mighty awesome to me. And tickets are now on sale for Leftwich’s UK tour. As for California-stuck me, I’m going to be anxiously awaiting the full-length follow up to his last EP, Pictures, which came out March 6th.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich: Pictures EP Released

The Bay Area has turned into a dreary, foggy wasteland, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s ideal tea weather–perfect for sipping Earl Grey in one’s pajamas. Which, incidentally, is exactly what I’m doing right now.

Today is also the release of Communion alum Benjamin Francis Leftwich‘s second EP, Pictures. It’s a lovely, pensive album, and also happens to be the perfect complement to a grey day and a cup of tea. His wispy vocals and gently plucked guitar are reminiscent of other tender singer-songwriters (from Jose Gonzalez to Elliott Smith) and yet still entirely his own. The beautiful single “Pictures” has been floating around the blogosphere (along with covers of When You Were Young by the Killers and Rebellion by Arcade Fire), and is deservedly gaining attention for its simple authenticity. The other three songs on the EP are equally captivating; each emphasizes Benjamin’s considerable talent for nuanced sensitivity.

Though Pictures is a contemplative album, it isn’t melancholic. Produced by Communion co-founder Ian Grimble, it is as understated as other folk albums (say, Sigh No More) are forward, and yet still spans a wide emotional range. There is an undercurrent of optimism in the EP, a sense of hope in its softness. Pictures is as beautiful as a dark, misty day; it inspires the same sort of peaceful self-reflection.

Buy Pictures today in stores and online, and check out Benjamin’s upcoming tour dates, including first US performances at SXSW. And, for kicks, here’s a mellow dubstep/electronica remix of “Pictures”.