Here’s an oddity which should delight and befuddle in equal measure. The Voluntary Butler Scheme is Rob Jones, a one-man band who uses a stack of instruments, stitched together with woozy psychedelic production, to create twinkly electronic pop music. It’s a peculiar brew, combining computerised swing, glitchy bells and whistles and cut-up sound collages with jaunty indie and a sprinkling of shoegaze, and it’s highly likely that you’ll either eat it up greedily or want to hurl it into the nearest canal.

It’s best when Jones sticks to the instrumentals, as in cheery opener “Hiring a Car” and mid-album charmer “Umbrella Fight”, which is sort of like “Singin’ in the Rain” plonked out on a toy piano and then fed backwards through a stoned computer. The lyrics are the album’s major weak point, dealing as they do in unsubtle observation, weak metaphors and forced whimsy, and these inconsistencies take their toll on the more straightforward songs. Of these, slightly Shins-esque “Don’t Rely On It” is the best, with all the album’s disparate elements at their most cohesive.

Despite these flaws, Jones is undoubtedly a talented musician and his idiosyncratic production lends the whole album a pleasingly wonky, spaced-out quality. If you’re looking for something completely different, you could do worse than allowing this butler into your house.

Have your say