Intended as a sort of portmanteau of the monikers that its members have become known for - the vocalist, Hannah Cartwright, records as Augustus Ghost, while Ross Tones has found recognition as a producer under the name of Throwing Snow - the effect that the name 'Snow Ghosts' has is two-fold. Firstly, it reflects the kind of tone running through the album perfectly (their debut album is music to be listened to in the depths of winter, or indeed, in a wintry mood); and secondly, it reflects the collaborative nature of the project.

The spectre of both members' previous work hovers over A Small Murmuration, but never manages to overshadow it; it merely creates a platform which the pair can work from. Tones's bass-heavy and atmospheric production is basis of the new project's sound, and Cartwright's sonorous voice is allowed to achieve full flight on songs which benefit greatly from lush arrangements and pin-sharp melodies.

Blue Daisy collaborates with the pair on 'Covenant', and its timbre is reminiscent of those luminaries which made the trip-hop scene of Tones's native Bristol a force to be reckoned with. There are certainly shades of the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead in some places on the album, but they are never more prevalent than on that track, which represents the particularly ambitious side of the duo's output.

Even at its most straightforward, the record is certainly accomplished; the crackling, popping rhythms of 'Untangle Me' are anchored to mournful-sounding strings and beautiful harmonies, as well as a surprisingly accessible bent that isn't too far from what we last heard from Lykke Li with Wounded Rhymes, while the dramatic singles 'Murder Cries' and 'Secret Garden' line up very well indeed next to each other, each offering remarkably different spins on the sort of minor-key melancholy the duo excel in.

Even though its roots lie in bass music, the record proves quite adept at allowing the pair's musical vision to come to fruition. The addition of strings into the mix ensures that the fragile chamber folk of 'Time Listens' is given a sumptuously cinematic twist, and penultimate track 'And the World Was Gone' is transformed when the strings enter around the two-minute mark, creating something almost uplifting out of a track which wears its heavy heart on its sleeve.

The sound that Snow Ghosts choose to drive their opening statement as a band is one which is in constant flux, beginning life on 'The Hunted' as something unsettling and ominous (and revising that mood on the gothic synth-pop opus 'Gallows Strung'), yet ending on the haunting strains of melody that guide 'In the Deep' to its conclusion and are surprisingly beautiful. There's been no word on whether there could possibly be a second Snow Ghosts album, but Cartwright and Tones currently find themselves on fertile ground. If they choose to pursue this project further, there's surely much more where this came from.