The title would have you believe that Lyttelton's grizzled wandering folkie Delaney Davidson has left his natural habitat of the shadows to emerge blinking into the sun. It suggests hope and bright optimism. It proves his humour remains pitch black.

Opening with the eerie Strange I Know, the intent of the album is set. The song sounds exactly like the onset of a cold winter's night. "I try to let it all go," Davidson pleads over a gentle strum and haunting piano lines.

This fades into the chipper Such a Loser, which can't help but remind of the Beatles great I'm a Loser, in both its juxtaposition of words and music and bouncy moptop style rock 'n' roll.

Neil Finn shows up on the following track, the scuzzy, superb, What Am I Doing Wrong, but I have no idea where... the vocals on this one are wonderfully distorted and pleasingly sound like they've been pulled scratching and clawing out of the singers throats. Perhaps he's whistling the song's ridiculously catchy hook.

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He's not the only guest. The World is Mine sees Davidson enlisting SJD, who brings heavenly ahhhs and a contemporary sheen to the mostly murky world.

Ever Gonna See is a fantastically stompy slice of good old-fashioned garage rock while Ten Ton Forty Foot Carnival Girl is as novel as its title suggests. But damn if it isn't a lot of fun.

It segues into the glorious title track, an effective, piano-led number that's darkly beautiful and quietly affecting, as Davidson's baritone croons "Here is your shining day, and after we are gone, the music still will play", over an angelic backing chorus. Verily, a love song for the ages.

The album's purposefully lo-fi and clatters and clangs with the same restless spirit as that other great musical vagabond Tom Waits. But no matter which style he indulges, from haunting folk to grungy rock or classic pop, Davidson is never far from a catchy hook or memorable melody.

A shining example of great songwriting and undoubtedly an album you'll return to often.

Artist:

Delaney Davidson

Album:

Shining Day

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Label:

Rough Diamond

Verdict: