YOU don’t hear a voice like this very often. The striking sound that emerges from Dan Michaelson is somewhere between a groan and a croon – a ‘groon’ perhaps; so deep it almost cracks.

The music is sort of country, with steel guitars, cellos, guitars and brushing drum-strokes; the pace is slow and the mood downbeat, while the songs address a broken relationship – “I’ll slip my keys under the door, I don’t need them anymore”. Yet there is nothing at all depressing about this concise, beautifully judged little gem of an album, with eight songs in 30 minutes and not a missed note or beat anywhere.

There is a swirl of hope in the melodies, and the songs are too sharp, the singer too wise, to indulge in a gloom-fest. Michaelson might sound American yet he is in fact English, and has been around a while, firstly as the singer with Absentee, and then as a solo artist; he was a new find to this reviewer but a good one.