If you've heard Cathy Davey's 2004 debut 'Something Ilk', you'll have been aware that at some stage during her career, there was a tangible possibility that she was going to make a great, great record. It's doubtful that anyone would have seen it coming so soon, though; Tales of Silversleeve, the Dubliner's sophomore album, not only displays Davey's outstanding songwriting talent but also bears witness to her considerable musical evolution in the space of just three short years. It's an immediately captivating collection, with the first four tracks as good an opening quartet as any you'll have heard before: Sing For Your Supper is a mesmerising, shiver-inducing Sundays-style janglebeat, a song that strikes blow after blow until it builds to an emotional climax; Reuben's quirky, memorable pop gallop sees Davey swap guitar for a capricious piano riff; The Collector slams a dose of sassy jazz-meets-nineties-indie on the table, while Moving's superbly-delivered, slick electro-pop is just simply gorgeous. Even on the more sentimental, exposed offerings (No Heart Today, or alluring acoustic closer All Of You) Davey's sensual thrum and lyrical idiosyncrasies carry songs like no instrument could, while Rubbish Ocean sees her entwine that sultry voice around a '60s soul/lounge track with a hip beat. These are more than solid, well-constructed, well-played songs, though; there's a magic about Tales of Silversleeve that makes it an album you're almost afraid to listen to twice, in case it's not as good as you remember the first time. Without doubt, one of the best albums of the year.