It’s perhaps true to say that our relationship with music is steered solely by connection. Sometimes that’s a very direct thing; the words we sing along to relatable to our own de- sires and experiences. Occasionally, however, it manifests itself in other ways, a captivation drawn from something we can’t conveniently place or pigeon-hole; songs and sentiments we watch from afar, trying to find a way inside. Martha Ffion’s work has always flourished within the latter of these two paths. While her Irish roots and current home city of Glasgow have undoubtedly informed her work, so many of her songs resonate all the more for feeling wildly devoid of time and place, an alluring cast of characters drifting in and out of focus, each one examining Ffion’s own thoughts on what it means to be “good” in a society that has such determined expectations. Initially breaking through with a ‘postcard single’ on Scotland’s flourishing Lost Map label, Ffion’s reputation soared with last year’s ‘Trip’ EP, a swooning five-track collection that was released by Turnstile Music (Cate Le Bon, Gruff Rhys, Charlotte Church, Emmy the Great etc.) and championed by GoldFlakePaint for its “beauti- fully melodic sway”. Written entirely in Glasgow since her move from a distinct Catholic upbringing in small- town Ireland, and recorded with her full live band by Jamie Savage at Glasgow’s Chem 19 Studio (King Creosote, The Twilight Sad, Emma Pollock), Ffion’s debut album, ‘Sunday Best’, spans the first songs she properly wrote to her most recent compositions, and is by far her most adventurous and accomplished work to-date, the lush instrumentation bringing her detailed lyrical vision to life through a series of gleaming guitar-pop songs that drift be- tween soft-centred balladry and something altogether more cutting and forceful. Opening track ‘Missing You’, with its glass of milk and “half smoked pack of Lucky Strike” plunges the listener in to 1950s American suburbia, all dimly lit rooms and crushing qui- etude; the previously-heard ‘No Applause’ remains a glowing stand-out, its crunchy guitars and radiant hooks as cap- tivating as ever before, while ‘Record Sleeves’ feels like a more personal snap-shot of Ffion’s own life; talk of “burning diaries” and the devil painted on record sleeves typical of her enchanting eye-for-detail that plays out as a variety of cryptically vague melodramas; soft, sultry, and scintillating. Recalling the work of Sharon Van Etten and Jenny Lewis, while still sounding thrillingly dis- tinct, ‘Sunday Best’ is a formidable coming-of-age record, and one that stands as a truly accomplished debut. It’s released on Turnstile Music in early 2018.