Courteous Thief : Tribal EP

This is the second release from the newly formed collaborative CEG Records, and it is superb acoustic folk-pop.

All four songs offer music that has an emotional impact - often simultaneously soothing and quietly exhilarating. This is most evident in the title track, Tribal, which fully encapsulates the yearning sound Courteous Thief have honed to a fine art, with an added didgeridoo. Rest my Bones, already released as a single, is slightly despondent in lyrical tone, but ultimately just as uplifting - whilst Weather the Cracks is piano based, plaintive and subdued. The set closes with The Looking Glass - delivered in simple acoustic form and demonstrably a finely crafted song - there is real writing talent at work here.

Courteous Thief's central force and songwriter is Gary Roberts - he has already released a well received album, had good airplay (including a BBC Radio Wales 'Single of the Week') and festival stage presence. With the Tribal EP he has taken his music a crucial further step up - successfully keeping the soul you might find in an early demo through to the final polished version; the EP is immaculate without losing any innate charge.

This is a collection of expansive and heartwarming songs; in the promotional image supplied to accompany the release of the recordings Gary Roberts is sat on a bench on a pier, waiting - perhaps wistfully for the world to fully appreciate his music. If that is the case, on the evidence of the Tribal EP, he should not have to loiter there much longer.