The Cedars are a London-based quartet fronted by the beautifully voiced Chantal Hill, and this, their debut album, sees tales of murder, betrayal, love and pain set against a potent blend of Americana, country and folk. Much of ‘Little Copper Still’ is filled with a rough-edged, whisky-fuelled, foot-stomping majesty; you can almost feel the sultry heat and tension that suffuses ‘Ten Gallon Mile’, ‘Chokecherry Blues’ drips with brooding menace and dark intent, while ‘The Colour’ is a raucous, fierily tuneful blast of banjo-fired joy. This turbulence is interspersed with the softly melodic beauty of songs like ‘Phoenix’, and the heartbreaking lyrical purity of album-closing ballad ‘Johnny Davey’s Blues’, where Hill sings of “the sky’s dark blood, against the land’s bones”. There are simply no weak songs on this storytelling debut.

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