Superb debut from string-laden troubadour

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Tom Baxter – Feather And Stone

We first heard Tom Baxter a couple of years ago on a Kashmir Klub sampler, which revealed him as an acoustic strummer with a voice heavily influenced by Jeff Buckley. His debut album is considerably more ambitious, with piano replacing guitar as the spine and string arrangements that rival Richard Ashcroft for emotional melodrama. The tunes are gorgeous and the songs deal with the standard debut album theme of rite-of-passage-into-adulthood, but intelligently so. The Buckley debt is still evident, but Ed Harcourt and Ben Christophers are the chief competitors and, as both release new albums this autumn, it will be fascinating to compare.