CD REVIEW Jonquil

Band : Jonquil
Album title : A
Label : Blessing Force – Cooperative Music
Distributor : V2 Benelux
Release date : 05/03/2012
Release : CD

Oxford (UK, not Mississippi or Ohio) based Indie Rock band Jonquil was originally started as a bedroom project by lead singer/ keyboardist Hugo Manuel, then turned into a 6-piece band to promote 2006 debut album Sunny Casino, on the small Try Harder Records. Full-length Lions (also on Try Harder) followed in Oct. 2007 (and was apparently re-issue in May 2008), and that in turn was followed by the 7-track EP Whistle Low (issued on the Spanish Acuarela label) in June 2008...but in early 2010 three members split off to form Trophy Wife (releasing their debut single in November that same year, they have since issued the double a-side single The Quiet Earth/ White Horses) with an added 4th musician.

Manuel and his remaining colleagues were left with the question whether they would even continue, or whether they were to recruit three new people to continue the sound that they'd developed thus far. Having decided to not give up, they went a different route, opting to give the band a new lease on life by minimising what they needed. So the line-up went from one, to six, to three, and then to the current three of Manuel, guitarist Robin McDiarmid, bassist/ trumpetist Sam Scott, and drummer (the new guy) Dominic Hand. Minimising the needs however did not mean the band was gonna loose any of its sight complexities...in stead, they changed their sound to a far Poppier one, dropping their Rock leanings for a far more accessible one, and recorded a first set of 8 songs (among which a remake of the Lions album's title track) for the November 2010/ January 2011 released EP One Hundred Suns.

The new full-length, the band's third (but first on new Oxford based label Blessing Force – which also involves the Jonquil members' other projects Chad Valley, Solid Gold Dragons and Pocket House), gives the fan of such music another 11 new songs to swoon on. At (www.) soundcloud.com/jonquil, you'll find enough material to get acquainted with the band new-style as, besides the new album's title track (or, part 2 of it), you'll also find 4 songs off the One Hundred Suns EP...actually, you're better off checking the band's MySpace page, seeing as it allows you to listen to the complete album, plus videos of two of the album's songs. The band is on a short UK tour as we speak, and will be visiting Paris (France) and Utrecht (Holland) in June.

79/100

Tony.