Joyce The Librarian
Album: They May Put Land Between Us
Label: Folkwit
Tracks: 10

The debut album from the Bristol quartet follows a self-released EP, The Weight of the Line that alerted the talent spotters and prompted a host of reviewers to go into bat for them. Without sounding anything like it, the lead single, Follow me I'm Right Behind You invokes the gently uplifting spirit of Badly Drawn Boy's Hour of Bewilderbeast with some lovely minor key harmonies and acoustic settings underpinned by a light drone.

Other tracks - Turn Yourself In, Over Dinmore, Communion - sound wearier, autumnal end of the day entreaties to depart for the land of nod. It's possible the tastefully performed harmonies and polite melodies flirt a little too readily with twee, but the upbeat, confident statements of Land and album opener Traps suggest Joyce the Librarian are knowing enough to rein in their more mawkish tendencies.

How far such pleasantness can carry them remains to be seen - I suspect they'll need a little more darkness to sustain such a light touch, but for now this is a bold debut that will find favour in both indie and traditional music circles, making a pitch for the narrow territory between, say, Laura Marling, Noah & the Whale and the godfathers of it all, Belle & Sebastian.

Nick Churchill