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Various Artists Split 12" v3 (Song, By Toad)

This latest slice of vinyl from independent Edinburgh label Song, By Toad - recorded last year at the Insider Festival in Aviemore - reminds me of a 42-minute TV show featuring this week's guest musicians.

David Thomas Broughton tops and tails the programme with two epic songs that have something of the ageless ritual about them, painting complex musical landscapes whose details unfold over time. Sparrow And The Workshop also provide a couple of tracks in their inimitable black-cloaked indie-folk style, including a stripped-down version of Valley Of Death on which Jill O'Sullivan's voice is as clear as crystal, while three from Jonnie Common lighten the mood and, on Summer Is For Going Places, incorporate a memory of Martyn Bennett into their homemade DIY sampling. And then, as is so often the case on Later With Jools, the act with the acoustic guitar who only gets to perform one song in the middle comes on and steals the show. Dear God by Siobhan Wilson is a thing of absolute wonder, her expressive less-is-more style utterly seductive.

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Alan Morrison

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