The recent outbreak of heart-rending female newcomers looks like an A&R land grab of post-Adele territory. I mean, whatever happened to the days when new artists ignored major labels and broke through via social networking and YouTube? Tsk! After Lianne La Havas and the overrated Emeli Sandé comes this week’s model, 21-year-old Paloma Stoecker aka Delilah. In truth, Atlantic Records signed her a full four years ago and it may explain the overcooked quality on her debut. It’s full of carefully-crafted nocturnal stillness and contemplation but also fraught, over-egged songs about the pain of being in and out of love. Massive Attack and Portishead have been mentioned as reference points but it’s difficult to detect any of either band’s menace or sense of danger lurking in the shadows on these songs. Each track blurs into the next in a dark drift of percussive clicks, noirish strings, and Deliliah’s rather mannered vocal style. A co-write with man of the moment Ben Drew on Only You is a highpoint but a lot of From The Roots Up sounds laboured. An impressive debut from the young singer but a bit more light and less oppressive production would have been welcome.

Alan Corr