Not too many singers can survive the scrutiny of singing accompanied only by the barest of instrumentation, but for much of her debut, the Guernsey singer-songwriter Robyn Sherwell does just that. In this impressive collection of confessional electro soul, the musical backing often consists of a solitary piano note, an acoustic twang, a single echoed drum stroke or her own vocals, multi-tracked, which creates a breathy intimacy. If the minimalist music nods to Sade and James Blake, Sherwell’s emotional range has a hint of Tapesty-era Carole King. Bat for Lashes producer David Kosten mixes things up a little, turning up the pounding drums for the autobiographical Islander and adding keyboards to the gorgeously wounded Broken. Perhaps there could have been more such variety; occasionally things edge towards samey blandness. Still, the likes of the terrific, redemptive Heart, the crystal-voiced Tightropes and Sherwell’s beautifully stilled take on Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide suggest the first flowering of a significant new voice.
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author