What the ink-scribbled sleeve note on this beautifully packaged album suggests, the disc certainly delivers; inside the illustrated matte cardboard sleeve lay fourteen examples of delicate, understated acoustic folk. Centred around 20 year-old songwriter Hugo Manuel, Oxford based Jonquil includes members from Try Harder Records labelmates Youthmovies, a label representing the similarly ascending Blood Red Shoes and Foals. Lions however is quite unlike the raucous offerings of fellow THR signings; awash with distant, reverb voices, plucked acoustic guitar, organ and horns. Here Jonquil deliver a welcome slab of contemporary folk. Although not derivative, Jonquil happily appropriate the eastern European tones of Beirut, the lo-fi principles of The Microphones (Lions was recorded, mixed and produced at home by Manuel) and the instrumental palette of Akron/Family. Title track Lions, an undeniably post-Gulag Orkestar drunken singsong, is one of many standouts, accordian complimenting the adolescent boy choir perfectly. On Whistle Low, perhaps Lions most successful pop moment, the influence of Montreal's Islands and Sung Tongs era Animal Collective can be heard in the playful, carefree vocals and plucked acoustic guitars. An indication of further promise rather than realised artistic statement, Lions certainly deserves to accompany fans of its many influences over the coming winter months...





1. Lily
2. Sudden Sun
3. Keep It In Keeping
4. Pencil, Paper
5. Babe, So Now Why No?
6. ------
7. Lions
8. Here's To The Little Man
9. Subtle Strains
10. Magdalen Bridge
11. Whistle Low
12. Sleepy Like Pudding
13. Shore
14. I Don't Need Advice

CD album

Out October 8th