Review: Benjamin Francis Leftwich's New EP 'I Am With You'

Usually the first song off a production—it being an EP or an LP—is the one I personally find more difficult to appreciate.

First tracks are often simple intros or catchy tunes used to draw the listener in and convince them to keep listening to the album, but in I Am With You, the brand new EP by Benjamin Francis Leftwich, the first track is the highest peak. "4AM In London" is in fact a beautiful, calm, ethereal song: the piano in the instrumental opens itself up when the electronic synths appear to accompany his raw and natural voice, accentuating the British singer's ability to express a precise feeling through melodies. Starting off as a ballad, it goes on as the perfect pop love song; the lyrics speak loud and clear and the chorus contains just the right amount of suspense, with the glorious entrance of drums:

"Distance is easy, you make me completely alive."
The electronic and chill vibe goes on in the second track "Power Down"  as well, reminding of Hayden Calnin's most recent music. This particular song was the last one to be released, it being the most "flat", almost like an interlude. It still perfectly holds the intensity and professionalism that the entire record carries. Pop isn't always a bad thing; there can be varied shades of it. When music has a message, it doesn't matter whether it is pop, metal, indie or R&B—the only thing that matters and that will always matter is that that message reached the people who had to be reached, and somehow helped them.

"I was caught in a storm on arrival, all my bags have been lost on the plane, only love remains."
The dreamiest track is definitely the third one, "Numb", with a sweet and delicate chorus on the notes of an acoustic guitar's loop and some drums. It is a song that talks about one's deepest fears. People tend to ignore all their problems and discomforts until they go away, but most of the time, they either haunt us, or they inspire us. In Leftwich's experience, it has been the second.

"I can start over with so much to show for me, pulling anyone to pieces then singing about it all".


Francis And The Lights
 is a huge pop reference nowadays, and this influence is perfectly audible in the last track, "I Am With You", which is very reminiscent of tracks like "I Won't Lie To You""Faithful" or even "Breaking Up". The autotune speaks for itself and the track attracts the listener like a mantra. It is indeed the most postmodern song off the EP.

With introspective and intense lyrics, the spiritual journey this 4-track EP takes us on closes perfectly, and overall it is a great continuation of what the path of Benjamin Francis Leftwich has been until now. The artist is visibly evolving and walking alongside the musical revolutions that are taking place, captained by characters like Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and the other biggest names out there.

This EP is a coherent and steady step forward for the Dirty Hit artist, and it has certainly fueled my curiosity and fascination in his regard.


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