Album: Chris Wood, Handmade Life (RUF Records)

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The Independent Culture

Anyone lucky enough to have caught his recent tour will remember the exact mid-song moment the audience realised an ominously thrumming Wood's number was about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes.

That song – "Hollow Point" – is here, along with another nine, equally good. Best of all is an extraordinary modern love story – "My Darling's Downsized" – that is so perfectly expressed it really needs to win an award. The band (trombone, cello, drums) is a marvel, and Wood's unpretentious singing carries real weight.