Album: Laura J Martin, The Hangman Tree (Static Caravan)

The debut album from Scouse indie-folk singer Martin has you thinking one minute of a lo-fi Kate Bush but without the saving grace of her strangeness, the next of David Bowie circa Hunky Dory without the grandeur and drama.

A lot of "withouts", then, but THT also has plenty of "withs", and not only the cameos from Gorky's singer Euros Childs and Buck 65. With its flutes, xylophones, mandolins, a truly incongruous mention of Superman III and, not least, Martin's own lilting delivery, it also has a fair quantity of charm.

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