Northern Soul and spoken word coalesce on Average Joe’s startling introductory number “Cross My Heart”, a powerful confession from the Stoke-On-Trent based act. Front-man Joe channels the same nonchalant attitude as tormented troubadours Tom Waits or Nick Drake with an added charm akin to fearless leader of The Rhythm Method Joey and closer to home, Stoke’s very own Robbie Williams. A modern day Midland’s minstrel if ever there was one.

Raw and razor-sharp, Average Joe has all the hallmarks of creatively rich and emotionally turbulent project and “Cross My Heart” is the perfect way to get things moving.

“Cross My Heart” is out now