'I was born a wolf in woman's clothes'; Laura Gibson once again employs that dripping, wet-lipped register that she has mastered to deliver another pack of substantial ballads.

Gibson has swung around a few genres in her career, from fairly straight folk pop on her debut to Waitsian Southern Gothic. Goners continues the feel of her previous record ‘Empire Builder’; a slightly cracked delivery of breathy, warm tales of love, loss and independence.

It's lovely to hear an album that ostensibly requires so few ingredients to paint such a rich emotional landscape. The mix on the opening track could have been cloying, with its carpet of vocals and low organ bass line. Instead, the balance is perfect, like the rich texture of an oil painting. 'I Carry Water' joins the list of Gibson's perfectly constructed pop songs, alongside 'Damn Sure'.

It takes a lot to suggest so much with limited instrumentation. 'Slow Joke Grin' leans only on classical guitar, clomping drums and what sounds like a digitally affected mandolin to land its message. 'Performers' has a more traditional band accompaniment with strings and brass. Even then, the tone is restrained. Vocals are delivered at a faint remove.

The lyrics are full of spiritual invocations of genuflection, death and rebirth. Spirit animals abound once again, including her own lupine transfiguration and the sparrow hawks of 'Clemency'. Gibson uses nature to add a wild, unencumbered edge to the ostensibly relaxed feel of much of the record. This sense is supported by the well-worn trope of pompous marching brass, copied across from earlier album 'La Grande'; this can make Goners feel at times like a re-tread of previous work, though largely a satisfying one.

The album as a whole isn't perfect, and droops a little away from the really brilliant early tracks. Even so, it has a smattering of mindblowingly beautiful songs. The brief 'Marjory' is one; 'Saw you spinning in your thrift store pearls / saw you wobble in a rear view mirror / well the future is dim but at least it's clear'. Bright Eyes has built a career on lyrics less poignant than this, and melodies less memorable.

Laura Gibson continues to release albums of rare beauty. With so much already in her back catalogue, expect many more transcendent moments in a hopefully long and memorable career.