Johnny Flynn is a man with a voice that sounds so steeped in English folk history, there’s a distinct possibility he actually Morris-danced his way out of the womb. For the most part, ‘Been Listening’ is not nu-folk, or even, but folk in its purest form, with its allied minor keys, twiddling guitars and understated arrangements. After the brassy opening of ‘Kentucky Pill’, which is like Adem with a bright sheen, ‘Lost And Found’ is stripped back and lovely, a melancholy story set to a beautifully sad backdrop. Laura Marling joins Flynn for the duet ‘The Water’ – it’s sweet, gentle and pleasant, yet one of the less striking songs on the record; Flynn excels when the unique timbre of his voice stands alone. Several degrees more accessible than debut ‘A Larum’, this is an album of rich and inventive quality.

By Chris Watkeys

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