Sam Lench and Anna Zweck are partners in life as well as in song and this is their debut album under their creative nom de plume Samson & Delilah. Influenced by stories and traditions new and old, the duo write songs of love and longing, truth and deceit, beauty and decay. The album tells the story not of their relationship per se but rather of where their lives intertwine. Lench has a background in indie-rock whilst Zweck is classically trained and this difference comes together to lend the album a rare breadth of style. From transcendental drone-folk ('Crystallised Sand') and room-silencing a capella ('And When The Rose') to uplifting songs of love across distance ('Angels Said'), 'Samson & Delilah' locates the exact point where Lench and Zweck's unspoken truths find a voice. ‘Samson & Delilah’ is structured as a loose day cycle, reflected in the album’s stunning artwork depicting dawn and dusk. This concept takes on a greater resonance when you learn that many of the songs were written while Zweck (who is Australian) and Lench (who grew up by a river in rural Somerset) were apart, on opposite sides of the world. “Starlight in your afternoon/Dusk in your dawn”, as Zweck sings on ‘Starlight In Your Afternoon’. Throughout the album, Zweck reveals a turn of phrase at once beautiful and curious - “Take to the moon/On a kerosene broom” from ‘Crystallised Sand’ takes Vashti Bunyan’s wideeyed wonder and adds a poetic longing for escape. Lench, for his part, provides a striking contrast – here is a man who can write a love song that isn’t sentimental and he frequently provides the hope to Zweck’s despair. Lench produced the album and takes influences as diverse as John Martyn, Sigur Ros and Leonard Cohen to stretch and twist the songs out of conventional folk shapes. His meticulous work builds the texture of the album instrument by instrument, layer upon layer, taking in the atmosphere of the recording locations: churches, family homes and studios across the country. The guitars, woodwind and bells were all recorded in the very church where Lench and Zweck were married and Lench’s father and grandfather play tuba and trombone respectively on the Balkan stomp ‘Motherbird’. Additional recording (and further clues to influences) also took place in Eliza Carthy’s studio in Newcastle and with Tom Knott (Emmy The Great, King Creosote, The Earlies) in Manchester. ‘Samson & Delilah’ is a striking album that deserves a wide audience. It is personal without revealing its subjects and it is accessible without revealing its message easily. It’s the first fruits of a partnership that will only grow stronger over time.