Simon Raymonde made his name with atmospheric 80s/90s auteurs Cocteau Twins, before launching the Bella Union label, home to Fleet Foxes, John Grant… and breathy US singer-songwriter and sometime Chemical Brothers muse Stephanie Dosen, who has now teamed up with Raymonde as Snowbird. As one might expect, given their pedigree, their debut album is softly spoken, elegantly realised and at times mesmeric, never more so than on opener I Heard the Owl Call My Name. And yet for all its gracefulness it's curiously unengaging. All too often, the songs are too lightweight to ensnare the listener, their gossamer melodies floating out of the memory almost as quickly as they entered.
Phil Mongredien is a member of the Guardian Opinion desk’s production team