Album: Jackie Oates, Lullabies (EEC)

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The Independent Culture

Contemporary folk's most unaffected, childlike voice sings sleep songs: a perfect fit, you'd think.

In its own terms, it's a great success. Oates tackles a range of lullabies, from A A Milne to McCartney via Shakespeare and Trad Arr, with a view to making children nod and grown-ups connect with their own childhoods. It is exquisitely sweet, delicate as a cobweb, soft as mist. But it is also shrouded by its own tonal and dynamic concept, a bit like sleep itself. A protracted softness.