The Cake Sale The Cake Sale

While the quality of many benefit discs can range from uneven to awful, the Cake Sale’s self-titled release shows a solid consistency and a high calibre of wistful songwriting. Launched by Brian Crosby of Ireland’s Bell X1, the Cake Sale function as a collective of musicians, featuring the likes of the Cardigans’ Nina Persson, the Frames’ Glen Hansard, Crowded House’s Nick Seymour and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, among others. Publishing royalties from the disc go towards Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and other poverty assistance projects. Despite the variety of artists involved, the tunes move with a constant, gentle sway. With its minor chord melancholy and Persson’s captivating vocals, "Black Winged Bird” offers enchanting listening, while the smoky "Aliens” recalls the Tindersticks in peak nicotine-fuelled form. Throughout its nine songs, the Cake Sale’s debut offers well-crafted writing and polished playing. (Yep Roc)