Jarrod Dickenson: Ready The Horses

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Good as Laura Marling is, she’s beaten into second place by this superb album from Dickenson. From the moment it starts playing, it’s a joy.

Hailing from Waco, now living in Brooklyn, Dickenson has a honeyed, soulful voice and writes semi-acoustic soulful blues and country tunes. Like Marling, the music is reflective and mature, and it feels like there’s not a spare note anywhere.

Dickenson’s voice is somewhere between Marc Cohn and Tom Waits. We’ve got no lyrics, but we think he tells stories of love, loss and failure. As with Marling, you can listen to the lyrics but also enjoy the music for its own sake. This album is a good argument against downloading odd tracks, as it’s a well laid-out set of songs that work when played in the order the musician intended.

Try Take It From Me, a slow, bluesier song with big organ flourishes and a nice guitar break, or the more jocular Gold Rush.

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