There are few indie bands in Scotland better acquainted with the jaggy end of a pop hook than Edinburgh's Cancel The Astronauts.

Singer-guitarist Matthew Riley clearly also has an ear for a more sophisticated style of chord progression, and this short album - the first of three he plans to release under his Jackson Hall moniker - showcases his talents as a songwriter who cares about melody and structure.

These aren't simply stripped-back piano demos for full-band tracks. Each of the nine songs pits Riley's voice against shifting key changes of block chords and arpeggio backings, sometimes with additional string textures supplied by The Forth Quartet. There's a baroque chamber mood to A Promise, a shivering anxiety to I'll See It Through, a melancholy sense of peace to All's Quiet.

If there's any complaint, it's only that, with most songs coming in at just over two minutes, the end result is a bit impressionistic. I'd have been happier if each track had been allowed to breathe a little longer, as Riley is in danger of throwing away some of his most brilliant musical ideas.

The album is available from Monday at and in selected record stores.