BENJAMIN Francis Leftwich sold 100,00 copies of his 2011 debut album, Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm, enticing more than 150 million global Spotify plays too.

The snowstorm came for the York singer-songwriter, but in the most terrible of ways: he lost his father and guiding light, university lecturer Adrian, to cancer in April 2013, stopping his musical flow in its tracks.

Rather than writer's block, Ben needed time to come to terms with loss, to "live outside the music", to deal with life and death in his twenties. "This album is dedicated to my father, Adrian Leftwich, who I lost too soon," he writes in the album's sleevenotes. "I love you so much and forever".

Ben may have moved to North London, but York and Adrian still shape this album, especially on Groves, the "most significant song" to Ben himself with its lyric, "I will follow in your footsteps when I walk away the sadness in the snow".

Ben may occupy the over-crowded home of literate singer-songwriters, but his strummed guitar-led songs are distinguished by his covert ability for those folk-pop elegies to slowly woo you with that beckoning, hushed, caressing voice and often fragile arrangements that reveal more with each encounter.

No first date wham-bam here, Ben's muse take its time, and where other reviews have talked of a need for more variety, a little patience takes those songs further, just as they did with José Gonzales. Synths, viola, violin, cello, trombone, all play their part, so too do the backing vocals of Hayley Hutchinson, and the piano on Some Other Arms is gorgeous.

There is sadness in these songs, how could there not be, but there is hope in more than the album title, and waspish stings in the stand-out adulterous opener Tilikum and the finger-pricking sharpness of Kicking Roses. After The Rain is a beautiful, bruised but healing record of light and dark, for summer, for winter, for break-ups and new starts.