I normally wouldn't pick up an EP that contained cover versions of songs from musicals, but you only live once right? Sarah Blasko wasn't a name I'm immediately familiar with but a little digging soon told me all I needed to know. The Australian musician has enjoyed success at home, both in bands and as a solo artist. The latest release, Cinema Songs, was originally included as a bonus disc on the Collector's Edition of As Day Follows Night but is now getting a standalone release in the UK and Europe.

The whole EP shares a simple set-up. It's Sarah Blasko's voice and a piano, putting a unique spin on some well known songs. The EP opens with 'Seems Like Old Times' from Annie Hall. The initial feeling is one of being in an old, dank room, thanks mainly to the background hiss, a hint of dripping, damp walls and the sense of space conveyed. The thought is immediately dashed when a lovely piano and simply stunning vocal come in. The bass notes on the piano in particular ring out. 'Something Good' will be known to many thanks to The Sound of Music. Here, it's given a contemporary twist. The background tape hiss is generally found on shoegaze indie, but works quit well here too with the wonderful piano. Again it's vocally excellent, evoking images of smoky music halls from decades past.

The next movie turned to is Cabaret, with the song 'Maybe This Time' getting the Blasko makeover. The vocal is breathier this time and the piano a little more hopeful sounding, occasionally hinting at playfulness. 'Out Here On My Own' from Fame is given a heartfelt and emotional slant in Blasko's hands. Both vocally and through the exemplary piano, you're always where you should be emotionally, thanks to the craftsmanship of the two instruments. Lyrically, the song is about being on the outside and not fitting in, but defiantly so. Being on the outside isn't bad and Blasko gets that across beautifully.

The final track of the EP is 'Xanadu', which open with a really warm piano. Again it's vocally superb. The piano and vocals are both gentler on the closing song and if you close your eyes, you're almost transported to the pleasure garden of the title. It's beautifully simple and very powerful. As an overall collection, it's a simple premise. Rework some well known movie songs with a vocal and a piano. The results are beautiful, powerful, intricate and a joy to listen to. With a voice like hers, it's no wonder Sarah Blasko didn't need much in the way of instrumental backing.