Ian Tilling's voice is the make-or-break element when it comes to Edinburgh's Trapped Mice.

Yes, there are times when he sounds like an adenoidal Morrissey but, for me, that's just one part of the unique, dramatic personality that sets this band apart from others in the Scottish indie-folk wave. This second album, following 2012's Winter Sun, dampens down the wilder eccentricities of his vocal delivery but increases the range and ambition of the music. Take the nine-and-a-half-minute Essex Wedding as a case in point: it may begin in the folk realm but by the time it's added a cute mono-synth hook, a trip 'n' stumble beat, bittersweet reality-show lyrics and an alt-rock explosion whereby feedback and fiddle become one, it's clear that Trapped Mice's songwriting has leapt forward in the past couple of years. This is evident in all the longer songs - The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Trial, The Space Race - where the guitar has a harder edge and the slow escalation of tension is thrilling indeed.

Alan Morrison

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