On her way to becoming another one of those goodwill musical ambassadors to Ireland (because fans take them so close to their hearts - others include Will Oldham, Josh Ritter), New Zealand's Bic Runga has already scored an Irish Top 10 hit with the song 'Get Some Sleep' from her 2004 album 'Beautiful Collision'.

If that sweet track and its just as sweet video is all you know of Runga, however, 'Birds' will be full of surprises.

Recorded as live as possible, it finds Runga dimming the lights for an album overflowing with night-time ambience and sublime torch songs - beautifully orchestrated and crawling ever deeper under the skin.

As exemplified by the stunning 'Say After Me', 'Birds' is sultry and vulnerable all at once, with that unmistakable sound of an artist revealing just how much they are capable of and how far they can travel in the future.

As the title suggests, after this the sky really is the limit.

Harry Guerin