Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Jennels Once Upon A Time I Was More Fun

Sheffield-based Jennels deliver a self-described “misery-pop” debut that’s anything but – it’s a joyous slice of coruscating, hook-laden summer phosphorescence.

Once Upon A Time I Was More Fun

Jennels come to the indie table with, frankly, a belter of a debut. With more hooks than a heavyweight and as much fat as a flyweight, the band cut to the musical quick expertly.

At time of writing there’s bad news and good news. The bad news is that the release date of 23 June has been delayed. The good news is that the band are in talks with a label who want to release it – a vote of confidence that’s impressive in these funding-challenged times. Fingers crossed.

The band’s press release cites musical echoes of The Wedding Present and The Only Ones, but I’d add The Coral and Boy Azooga as influences too – there’s that undercurrent of self-deprecation and angst-driven awkwardness that’s incredibly endearing.

Opener ‘Biggest Fan’ is the perfect representation of a bittersweet break-up song, setting the scene nicely for several threads that pervade the album such as hope (‘Superhero (trainee)’ / ‘Don’t Wait’) and heartache (singles ‘O Margot’ and ‘Fed Up’).

But the album’s real tour de force is the outstanding ‘Plain Sight’, with its cascading chords and a swirling psychedelic organ wash that the Inspiral Carpets would’ve died for. As if the stunning sonics weren’t enough, there’s a maturity and cleverness to the lyrics that escalate the song to a different level: “If you look too hard / I’m not there / I’m the magic eye picture / The trick is to see straight through / The image I’m portraying for you”. Superb.

Closer ‘Scorn Of Fools’ has a political protest vibe to it that adds a nice touch of gravitas to the record, proving the band have a sardonic edge in their locker (nice closing comment too, lads).

This band warrant serious attention, and should be rightly proud of an offering that embraces hope, honesty, love, yearning and self-awareness in a sonic setting that uplifts the soul, leaving you wanting more.

Filed under: