Willis’ (a.k.a. Hayley Willis) second release is a mysterious swirl of dark folk and primitive percussion. Prolific she is not - Uncle Treacle comes seven years after her memorable debut, Come Get Some — but taking her time pays off in that she presents a cohesive artistic vision here. “Candyman” has a woozy, carnival-tent waltz feel, “So Nice to Meet You” rides a sly and sinister banjo figure, and “Get In the Ring” and “Hell-Money-O” showcase her manic lyrical skills. The edgy and infectious acoustic-guitar grooves that define the album are an ideal backdrop for Willis’ rich and husky voice, a versatile instrument capable of a wide range of tones and sly understatement. She nicely draws out the tension on the smoky ballads “The Lesson” and “October” to create an ethereal feel that gives the slower songs real bite. This concoction of country, folk, and blues, served up with a theatrical flourish, makes Uncle Treacle an intriguing listen from start to finish.