Male singer-songwriters. Hardly a new invention, certainly a saturated field. One only has to look at the popularity of Ed Sheeran to see the general talent level. Yet this can have its advantages. It makes it all the more wonderful when you stumble across something beautiful. I believe that the debut release from Marcus Foster is an island of real talent in the sea of musical mediocrity.

Nameless Path is something wonderful. But we shouldn’t expect anything less from the London based act. Foster started playing piano aged six. Is an artist who has sold to Saatchi himself. Regularly plays the legendary Communion nights. Is best friends with Robert Pattinson (yes, the Robert Pattinson!) Ok, that last one probably makes you think less of him, but it certainly helped his commercial success when featured on the Twilight soundtrack...but it is his creative background that shines through his work, with his varying influences strewn across this Nameless Path.

The album shows a musical depth that exceeds anything his peers have put forward. It would be easily to generalise his work as contemporary folk, much like the work of Johnny Flynn or Mumford & Sons has. But, whilst his talent and style is far broader than this simple label, even within this area Foster stands out as a true musical talent. His work demonstrates a real understanding of music, highlighted in his ability to create moving and uplifting pieces, often switching from emotionally heartbreaking to happily uplifting in one swift movement. ‘I Belong Here’, lead single from the album, is the perfect track to embody his passion. Beginning delicate and fragile then pulling back to reveal and empowering and powerful vocal. Marry this with a romanticised lyrical prowess and you can see what I mean. It breaks down the emotional to build it up stronger. Impressive stuff for just one track.

The rest of the album does not falter, either. No two songs are the same, but do not take this as a discombobulated album with a mix-tape feel. His gritty vocals pull it all together, with an intense passion that is seriously lacking in “modern” music of late (cue feeling like my dad). ‘Faint Stir of Madness’ errs on the blues side of the musical spectrum, with mesmerising talent and power, whilst the hidden track at the end of ‘Memory of Your Arms’ is hymnal, with all the simplicity of a folk singer; think Bon Ivor levels of gentile vocal. It sounds pure and true, unadulterated and natural. Within such an over produced, saturated genre, Foster has found a way to stand out from the crowd, without gimmick or hook.

I could go on for hours and hours about how beautifully constructed this album is. How ‘Old Birch Tree’ gently warms the ear for the aural treat within. How each song feels cared for, like a small window into his world. Or even just how each listen reveals layers you had missed the previous time. But that would be tedious, right? Instead, I urge you to take a listen for yourself. It exists as a wonderful piece of music, regardless of time or genre. And, even if it is not to your specific musical taste, the natural talent behind it can certainly be appreciated. In a world were male singer/songwriters are everywhere, do not let the others cloud your view. Search out the gems, and you shall be rewarded with Marcus Foster.