Like a series of exhibits in a prestigious metropolitan museum, Paul Webb‘s follow-up to Drift Code, Clockdust, feels like music which has been recently unearthed by historians.

The use of instruments not normally found in a lot of contemporary music – euphonium, kokoriko etc. – reinforces this vintage feeling. It’s analog and velvet, evocative at times of earnest types in forties British cinema waiting forlornly at train stations, sharing endless sexually-charged looks over grey teas with debutantes, knowing they will be home soon, and the extra marital relationship over.

From the torch song sway of Gold & Tinsel to the Weimar Republic cabaret decadence of Kinky Living, it’s fragile, delicate as lace and seemingly not meant to withstand modern usage. This is both a blessing and a curse, as it can feel nebulous and ephemeral. Webb’s voice is similarly fragile. His husky croon calls to mind Robert Wyatt and Richard Butler from Psychedelic Furs.

The curls of organ and shimmering noir guitar of Jackie’s Room and spy theme swagger of Man With A Remedy are gorgeous highlights. A nice album for Sunday afternoon trysts in seedy hotels, if you have a yen for such things. Custard cream, Lieutenant?