Benjamin Francis Leftwich first appeared on our radar last December with a lovely acoustic take on Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies).” Now he’s back with a collection that includes “Rebellion” along with covers of songs by The Killers, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Kings of Leon. The English singer-songwriter brings his delicate, introspective sound to all five tracks on the free EP, available now via his website.
The EP kicks off with last year’s Kings of Leon track “Pickup Truck.” Leftwich sets the standard for the five tracks by stripping down “Pickup Truck” to its most essential elements and letting his voice shine through. He continues that trend on The Killers’ “When You Were Young,” trading out the bombastic rock of the original for a subdued arrangement that suits the reminiscent feel of the lyrics. “Rebellion” and “Atlantic City” are both contenders for the title of best track on the EP. While Leftwich’s Arcade Fire cover alters the original more dramatically, his take on The Boss is beautifully dreamy and sorrowful: less gritty but just as heartbreaking as Springsteen’s original. Leftwich closes out the EP with a brief, sleepy cover of Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” Overall, the five pieces are quite similar, but they would provide the perfect soundtrack to a rainy afternoon. Sample “Atlantic City” and “When You Were Young” below, then download the full EP here.