About ten years ago, I walked into the much-missed Reveal Records in Derby for a browse and they were playing a grubby little pop album that revelled in its demo-ish charm. The album was Silver and Fire by M Craft.

It was rammed full with superb songs (tracks 3 to 7 is as great as five-song run as I can think of) that, although sounding like they were recorded on an old tape in someone’s living room, held a true pop beauty.

This year, when I heard that the mysterious M Craft was to release another album, my first thought was one of concern that he would dilute the brilliance of Silver and Fire with something awful.

My concerns were unfounded.

Blood Moon is easily my favourite album of the year. Dark, lush, orchestral, haunting and impeccably produced, it’s the polar opposite of his first album, but every bit as brilliant.

Nocturnal pianos and strings make up the bulk of the instrumentation, there are hints of Bon Iver and Talk Talk’s later work, and echoes of Art Garfunkel and Benjamin Francis Leftwich in the vocals. But it has an expansive overall sound that is all its own that suitably befits the time he spent living in the desert underneath the stars as he wrote it.

The resulting feel is hypnotic, ambient, beautiful and compelling.  It’s something that I would have loved to have worked on myself.

For a modern album, it’s rare in that you can get completely absorbed in it. It creates its own atmosphere, takes you into the desert at night and makes you marvel at everything.

And that’s what all the best albums should do.