Bobby Long first received a boost in America thanks to the Twi-Hards, a.k.a. the super-fans of the Twilight movie franchise. You see, the British singer-songwriter is an old pal of shimmering vampire dreamboat Robert Pattinson, and the actor sang one of Long's songs, "Let Me Sign," in a film. Anyone just focused on this entertainment connection, however, misses out on the fact that Long has real talent — and substantial things to say. A Winter Tale, his first official full-length studio album (and second release overall for ATO Records), goes beyond the delicate folk and acoustic tropes of his earlier, bedroom-recorded tunes. Fans of Mark Kozelek's work will like the title track, which is full of smoldering electric guitar, while the resigned "Who Have You Been Loving?" is a bluesy gospel jangle. In the end, though, Long's voice — a leathery busker's tenor with charcoal-soul undertones — is Tale's greatest weapon.
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