After a double-decade-plus hiatus, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons returns with a starkly beautiful collection of ten songs recorded over a period of ten years, a singular voice nestled in amongst music that acts as a suit of armour against the trials of motherhood, mental health and the inevitable shifting of time.

Charting the emotional and physical changes that come with reaching a mid point in her life, these songs sit as a companion piece to 2002’s Out Of Season. If that record was the lead up to a moment then Lives Outgrown is the natural follow-on, the story of a transformative journey and where we go from here.

As much as this album is about making peace with the past and facing up to the future, recent single ‘Floating On A Moment’ is firmly rooted in the present, using a shimmering guitar line and youthful voices to weave visions of somewhere grounded and secure. On ‘Lost Changes’, the breath-taking power of Beth Gibbons’ voice and the artistry of her songwriting is laid bare. Truly cinematic in scope, she conjures up an elegy to the loss of youth and love and an acceptance that things cannot stay the same. Growing slowly and quietly soaring to a place of hope, this is music that’s beautifully panoramic, intuitive, wise. The absolute definition of shivers.

In moments such as these, you are reminded that very few artists can do what she does. In fact, she has become the archetype for music such as this; the interwoven textures, the innate ability to make the heart swell. Darker touchpoints, just as recognisable and synonymous with her music, are here too. ‘Burden Of Life’, deals with loss and sadness, scratched with strings and rumbling drums, while the brooding ‘Oceans’ – “my heart is tired and worn” – articulates feelings of isolation and, in her own words, the “massive comedown” of the menopause.

The final offering, ‘Whispering Love’, serves as an instinctive finishing point to the album, its folk strains echoing the past but showing a familiarity and resilience that offers a peaceful ending to a fine collection.

It’s been too long for an artist as iconic as Gibbons to stay silent. Lives Outgrown puts her front and centre and, with those songs and that voice, she is ready to rise again.