For all the charm of Conor O'Brien's first album, 2010's Becoming a Jackal, it contained nothing to suggest that he was anything other than a folk-informed Paddy McAloon. The Dubliner's follow-up, though no less literate, is more adventurous and electronic, exposing O'Brien as an unlikely techno fan. Particularly impressive – and bleepy – is The Waves, whose wide-eyed lyrics sit atop sledgehammer beats. At heart, though, O'Brien remains a gentle soul: the instrumental title track is beautiful, while In a Newfound Land You are Free is as delicate as anything he has produced.
Paul Mardles is a subeditor on the Observer New Review