RETURNING to the music scene has been a tough business for Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

The singer-songwriter's debut album, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, was released five years ago to acclaim and more than 150 million Spotify plays.

But in those five years in between records, Leftwich lost a parent and his main source of inspiration, his father.

After taking time out to grieve and live outside of music for a while, his follow-up album, After The Rain, could be considered a form of closure for the 26-year-old.

But the scars have not completely healed because this new collection of songs is as melancholic and reflective as it is gentle and dreamy.

It is the sound of a young man making peace with himself.

Highlights include Tilikum, written in the living room opposite his father’s old house in York.

It has a kind of finger picking style of reminiscent of José González.

Kicking Roses takes its cue from the electronic scene with a synth-like sound that then builds into something atmospheric and hazy.

Groves begins with simple acoustic guitar and piano before adding more musical layers to haunting effect.

Despite an overtone of sadness to the album overall, some of the songs have an upbeat feel too like She Will Sing and Mayflies.

The only criticism is the lack of variety. Leftwich sticks to his own style pretty rigidly leading to a couple of dull tracks, Summer and Just Breathe.

But with this fresh start for the singer-songwriter and a tour on the horizon, Leftwich will no doubt pick up new fans with this accomplished collection.

- After The Rain is released on Friday.

- Benjamin Francis Leftwich performs at Manchester Academy 3 on September 27