Album: M Craft

Silver & Fire, 679
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The Independent Culture

Martin Craft's 2004 EP I Can See It All Tonight announced an intriguing new talent on the fringes of what has become known as nu-folk, or in his case nu-singer-songwriter.

This full debut reveals a songwriter of dark moods and delicate guitar skills, with a taste for Latin rhythms and melodies that linger. The title track is typical, with Craft's voice employing the subdued, mysterious mood of José Gonzalez, and acoustic guitar, glockenspiel and flute blending into a Tropicalismo flavour. "Emily Snow" applies a Bacharach feel to its gentle samba shuffle, while elsewhere the crepuscular tone is broken only by the stinging raga-rock guitar break of "Lucille (Where Did The Love Go?)", or the languid, Neil Young-ian menace of "Sweets", one of two songs from the EP.

As perhaps befits an expat Aussie, there's a self-reliant attitude to Craft's songs that brooks little pity. "Sweets" depicts a young girl on the slide to victimhood; "Snowbird" offers scant solace for its protagonist, a trustafarian girl who collapses into "a fashion trash art school failure". But elsewhere, the footloose "I Got Nobody Waiting for Me" could be an anthem for the gap-year generation.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Silver & Fire', 'Dragonfly', 'I Got Nobody Waiting for Me', 'Sweets'