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A Magazine for Sheffield

Jennels Christmas is Better at Home

Jennels' seasonal single warms the sonic soul, extolling the importance of family love. Sorrywhatpardon? Yes, of course there are sleigh bells....

Released: 12 December 2022
Christmas is Better at Home

It was way back in September 2021 when Sheffield's Jennels – Adam Tkacz (Vocals/Guitar), Paul M Burke (Guitar), Karl Ampofo (Bass) and, new to the fold, Mick Hart (Drums) – released their inaugural album, described in this reviewer's rather indolent, slapdash nod to the English language, but true nonetheless, as a "belter".

Its title, Once Upon A Time I Was More Fun, seems apt as a description for reflective human sentiment in 2022, a year that's done its best to browbeat even the most optimistic amongst us as we battle through a succession of social and economic crises.

So it's to Jennels' credit that they have provided the perfect antidote to December winter woefulness by resurrecting the long forgotten but much-loved (whadd'ya mean maligned?!) artform that is the Christmas single.

This festive offering, 'Christmas is Better at Home', is a bit of a tinsel teaser, as Jennels plan to release a succession of singles in advance of a planned sophomore LP release in 2023.

Passing with flying colours the seasonal song prerequisite of opening verse sleigh bells, Jennels ease into a Tilbrook/Difford-esque song, heavily cognisant of the importance of reflection and recognition of family love, emotions of increased resonance in these challenging times.

The band have a track record of sneaking in oblique but clever references, so it's no surprise that amidst the seasonal sentiment, the line, "The book you're reading matches your feeling/Zimmerman after the crash," reflects the moment when lyric writer Sam Beckwith reached the segment in Bob Dylan's book where he 'gets religion', a somewhat dry chapter that added to Sam's woes at the time. It's a juxtaposition to the aspirational need of literally being at home for Christmas surrounded by love.

We all need a melodious song hook, and Tkacz's layered harmonies fit the bill by continually hitting the sonic sweet spot against a smartly downplayed chorus before those mandatory sleigh bells jingle us all the way home.

This year, it's with respect and due deference that this reviewer asks you to gently but firmly to put aside Chris driving home, George giving his heart to someone special, and Shane and Kirsty's bell ringing in NYC, and let Sheffield's Jennels warm your heart and soul instead.

Happy holidays and a healthy 2023 Now Then readers. Look to the future now – it's only just begun.

Learn more

Christmas is Better at Home is released 12 December 2022 on Legion Records.

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