Maz Totterdell - Sweep
She's 15 and, as much as we're reluctant to offer plaudits for the achievements of youth alone, we're happy to flag it up when it produces a debut as intriguing and fully formed as this. Maz Totterdell's folk inclinations are hardly revolutionary but her pop nous sets her apart. There are pros old enough to be her grandparents making an actual living from songwriting who'd struggle to match her way with a hook or a smart couplet. Pieced togther with her own acoustic guitar and just a splash of accompaniment, Sweep was made for long summer days, a breezy, homespun affair that posits untypically sharp teen insight against the wise reflection of older heads.
To call her songwriting mature is as lazy as it is slightly patronising but there's a heartbeat of experience powering these tunes that might just grab her an audience in a crowded market. The likes of 'Counting My Fingers' and the closing 'Little Puzzle', which swaps acoustic arpgeggio for spare piano, are stand-outs in a strong set. The voice brings to mind a couple of other young(ish) artists but it's strong and pure. And when the bio points out she recorded Sweep in her school holidays, we're disinclined to linger on any minor negatives. Lovely. Recommended.