The mini-album is making a belated but welcome comeback, with splendid releases from the Flaming Lips, Stephin Merritt and Joy Zipper. M Craft's delightful six-track debut is the latest: 24 minutes of subtle beauty that somehow manage to traverse a range of music styles. One moment, Craft's coming on like Nick Drake in "Dragonfly", his acoustic guitar picking accompanied by violin drone and muffled drums as he acclaims the infinity of the universe in nature ("When the planet spins, it seems like the wings of a dragonfly"); the next, in "Sweets", he's evoking the languid menace of Neil Young in "Down by the River", before the samba lilt of "On the 389" brings a Tropicalismo tint to his celebration of public transport. "Come to my Senses" is the standout track, skating along with an infectious, hummed hookline buoyed by organ, acoustic rhythm guitar, and tremulous guitar trills, Craft proclaiming his debt to a lover: "You make me feel again/ Come to my senses". "Out in the Sun" is another chilled lilt, with rimshot, shaker and guiro percussion and swirls of strings adding drama to the guitar part, before the album closes with the instrumental "Solitaire", its lovely, self-effacing charm coloured by gently bent blue notes. Highly recommended.
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