The debut album from Blackpool raised singer songwriter Benjamin Shaw, is hard to pinpoint. On the one hand, it’s a deeply personal affair where Benjamin bares his dissatisfaction of rutting around in customer service jobs, and explores some of the darker themes of song writing quite affectingly. But also, it is a stripped back relaxing folk album that tends to drift along so frequently you sometimes lose track of when one song ends and another starts.

On ‘Interview’ he sings wearily "Got an interview tomorrow at 10, for a job I’ll hate" over the most basic and stripped back of guitar plucks in the background. Benjamin is clearly identifiable as the common man, and in this way many of his songs become uncomfortably relatable as the listener is made to reflect on the monotony of routine.

This is also apparent on ‘How to test the depth of a well’, a slightly more upbeat affair featuring wailing strings and Benjamin’s creakiest voice. It all sounds a bit like beautifully soppy break-up album First days of spring by Noah & the Whale, as Benjamin sings tellingly “I’ve had too much wine, and now you cant decline me this time." It feels very much like a soundtrack to being awake at 4am and gazing out the window, contemplating your life’s ills, being too tired to create coherent solutions to your problems.

Much of the record however, just sounds like the mumbling of an insomniac. Benjamin’s voice has the power to engage and emote, but some of the time he just sounds tired and like his heart isn’t entirely in it. It’s a shame because he’s clearly a guy with a lot to say, and get off his chest. ‘Home’ for instance is whiney and repetitive as Benjamin manages to croak out “Should have stayed at home” repeatedly just in case we didn’t get the point. Songs like ‘An exciting opportunity’ meanwhile are atmospheric, with dripping noises and more subdued strings in the background, but the main instrumentation sounds improvised and largely drab. That song in particular only features displaced guitar plucking which brings to mind someone in their first guitar lesson tentatively brushing the strings.

All things considered though, this album is certainly a worthwhile endeavour, for both Benjamin making it and the listener. It’s perhaps best enjoyed in solitude, in the early hours of the morning to both relax you and make you think and even empathise with the fledgling talent of Benjamin Shaw.