When Benjamin Francis Leftwich released his sophomore studio album 'After The Rain' back in 2016, it arrived five years after his confident and spellbinding debut LP 'Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm', and saw the frontman more or less continue exactly where he left off, continuing his journey as a strong and mesmerising singer-songwriter. But now returning with his third full-length 'Gratitude', it is clear that he wishes to reinvent his sound, moving away from the simple elegance of his infancy and experimenting more with an electronic aesthetic, giving us his most diverse record to date.
From the very beginning, 'Gratitude' looks to present itself as a step forward for the frontman's overall style and direction. Opening with the wonderfully harmonic title-track, it sets the tone as to where he plans to go with this new collection, combining his formative sound with some extra flair and excitement throughout. While there are plenty of times where he get to hear his humble and minimal original intentions, the majority of this record has this underlying bed of subtle electronic additions, helping give lift to his heartwarming compositions and showing us a new dimension to his usual thought-provoking songwriting.
This certainly feels like a step in the right direction for Leftwich. While continuing to pay homage to his earlier style, the frontman has been able to add a more well-rounded element to his music, encouraging a wonderfully expressive release in the process. While it may not have the same ear-piquing appeal of his previous work, 'Gratitude' still manages to wash over you in a broad and competent array of swooning melodies and deliver a strong sense of wonder throughout.