TLS's wistful 2008 Christmas single "The Last of the Melting Snow" had a cockle-warming story. Songwriter Nick Hemming was working in a warehouse when the song was playlisted by 6 Music; it was later nominated for an Ivor Novello award. The feelgood factor comes down a notch on this second album, with Hemming musing wryly on regret and midlife desperation in an attempt to place a deeper sadness at the heart of TLS's lush English pastoral. But he's scuppered by the perkiness of the string- and flute-assisted arrangements: nice enough on their own terms but too chirpy to pull off a bittersweet balancing act.
Ally Carnwath writes on Africa and music for the Guardian and Observer