Peter Brewis of Field Music and Sarah Hayes of Admiral Fallow met at a Kate Bush celebration show and began working together with the intention of him producing her. That their collaboration evolved into a band is cause for a little midwinter celebration. You Tell Me is a record of countless pleasures, one that manages to jump between different points without ever sounding jumpy for the sake of it. It’s delightfully eclectic rather than irritatingly restless.
The opening track, Enough to Notice, is a bit of a red herring: direct and four-to-the-floor, poppy but in the sense that Teleman are poppy, rather than in the way Little Mix are poppy. But the impression at the end of the album is that you’ve been listening to a folk record, which comes from the strength of the largely acoustic tracks – Foreign Parts, Springburn, No Hurry, Jouska and Kabuki – and from Hayes’s gorgeous, lightly accented voice. There are hints of Fairport Convention, too, in the glorious Clarion Call, which offers one of pop’s most appealing sonic combinations – slide guitar and a woman’s voice – and elements of systems music in the skittering keyboard patterns of Invisible Ink.You Tell Me is an unpindownable record: familiar enough to sound comforting, but new enough to pique your interest and make you listen for the way forms have been taken and bent. It’s like that new jumper you got for Christmas, the one you wouldn’t necessarily have bought yourself, but how you love it now you’ve got it.