Irish Times Album review- John, Shelly & the Creatures

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Dinosaur Big Life Music ****

These Northerners arrive relatively unheralded and unhyped, which is a good thing. Unlike the other Northern Irish band of the moment (Two Door Cinema Club) John, Shelly + the Creatures let the music talk, and the result is more conversational and casual than in your face. The fact is that songs such as Cold War, Sunny Side Street, Sight of Your Chest, Killer, Frost and Long May You Reign do what really good songs should: sneak up on you, twist preconceptions, change your mind and then take it over. The range of instruments in use, including flugelhorn, mandolin, cello, viola, violin, glockenspiel and xylophone, indicates not so much an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach (which would usually be the case) but an exceptional grasp of texture, tone and theme. A shoe-in for next year’s Choice Music Prize nominations list? See TONY CLAYTON-LEA

Download tracks: Sight of Your Chest, Killer, Long May You Reign

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