Label: Leaf Release Date: Out Now Link: By the end of the third track, I’m feeling more than a little bit haunted. The sky seems darker, the house feels bigger, and I am helplessly, hopelessly trapped in someone’s lonely break-up.  By which I mean that the start of this album puts you in mind of losing love, burning photographs, and slow tears. It sounds like a big musical bundle of hurt, and there are several keys and words to sing it all out in. Question is – is this really what I want to listen to? Her voice is certainly beautiful, no complaints there. I can firmly sit her amongst the vocal ranks of Martha Wainwright and Lisa Hannigan. The titles of the songs line up like scraps of a love letter, which almost confirms that this album is all about catharsis, and firmly deciding to dwell.  Track six is a mild perk, with a sweet French melody, but how easily I am tricked; by the second line we’re already on the subject of betrayal! Amongst more upbeat tracks, the difficult and trying moments Essie sings of would balance out. Instead you’re presented with lyrical, audible, albeit – beautiful, pessimism. This album is seductive – I could easily reach out for it in life’s harder moments and spend a lonesome evening crying at the ceiling. It’s impossible to place beyond some personal indulgence, and could surely only bring down a happy mood. That said – it’s lyrically strong, oozing with poetic wisdom. The songs are memorable, cleverly assorted, and I know, I’m positive, that Essie Jane is buzzing with talent. Perhaps I’m not emotionally together enough for this album. I’d recommend it to detached people, who are not easily influenced. If listening is about to occur, heed my warning: ‘No wine, sharp implements, or expectations of joy.’ Essie is Sarah Maclaughan, The Be Good Tanya’s and Dido, just after they’ve all lost their jobs, money, and a general belief in living. Rating: 4/10