I’ve got to confess I’d never heard of today’s artist until this morning when I chanced upon it on a random playlist – yet apparently he is relatively well-known if you’re the kind of aficionado who avidly listens to Zane Lowe or Dermot O’Leary’s radio shows (which I’m not).
This is the superbly-named Benjamin Francis Leftwich, who sounds like he should be a protagonist in a Narnia book rather than an accomplished singer songwriter from York. Yet, a great musician he is – and responsible for some hugely impressive work.
I’d highly recommend giving his 2011 album Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm a listen, as it’s exactly the sort of thing you’d get a kick out of if, like me, you’re a fan of solo acts like Jose Gonzales, Ryan Adams, Iron & Wine and Elliot Smith. There’s some great tunes on there that I could have chosen, but I’ve decided to stick with the first track that I heard – which is actually a remix.
The tune is Shine, which was a track on the aforementioned album and is great in its own right. But the remix by Norwegian DJ Kygo is awesome – all shiny, bright and chirpy where the original was wistful and full of longing. Personally I think it adds a lot more to the tune, and I’m a big fan of the synth-tinged flute riff; although it’s not the sort of thing that will, appeal to everyone. This is Marmite stuff, but I’m on the “love” half rather than the “hate”.