Vacation (A Pop Manifesto) – Jack and The’ – £8.99 + P&P
Also available NOW as a download or CD + instant download package at Bandcamp:
- We’re Getting Old
- Johnny The Storywriter
- She’s Round Again
- Norwegian Lake
- Bus 75′ 8 am 29
- Thelonius Monk & John Coltrane
- Mad Scientist
- Fifties Dress
- The Puppeteers Going Down
- What A Day
- A Secret Tonight
- So Many Things
- The Optimistic Song
- My Lady’s Smile
“Yes, they’re sitting in the shade of that big umbrella of 60′s influences and retro styling. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll see they’ve only got their feet under – the rest of them is building a wonderfully odd umbrella all of their very own out of extended whistling solos and songs about buses, puppeteers and Norwegian lakes. Jack and the ‘ make their case clear from the offset with their impossible to Google name: They’re not afraid of getting a little weird. On the surface they’re 60′s revivalists, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see they’ve got more in common with the Elephant 6 Collective and artists like Olivia Tremor Control than anything that blossomed earlier. Saturated in warm sepia tones, ‘Vacation (A Pop Manifesto)’ is a free-spirited record, ideal for a lazy afternoon in the sun.”
- Dani Charlton, Amazing Radio Showcase
“Grammaticists take note – the apostrophe in Jack and The’ is an integral part of the project named by Frenchman in exile in Edinburgh, Julien Lonchamp. Right, now that’s cleared up, time to carry on being impressed by the breezy, harmony-driven, baroque ‘n’ roll of this charmingly chirpy missive.
Johnny the Storywriter paints the picture of down-by-the Seine jauntiness, Serge et Jane vocal cooings and ye-ye rhyming couplets. Naming a track Thelonius Monk & John Coltrane may be a bit obvious, but it wears its black turtleneck so well you can forgive it anything. The same goes for Fifties Dress, with its Pet Sounds outtake structure, Smile demo sound and Cat Stevens cleverness. The mood pervades the entire album with a dash of banjo here, a warm whistle there, Dean Friedman piano chords and John Shroeder arrangements.
The instrumentation is tellingly augmented by the Apostrophe Ensemble’s clarinet, trombone, violin and cello as Lonchamp invokes the entire High Llamas oeuvre, The Divine Comedy, McCartney’s first solo records and makes you wish Dennis Wilson had made more music on his own.
Be warned, Vacation will steal your heart… and you won’t want it back.”
- Nick Churchill, FATEA Reviews
“…a sunny escape, an oasis of happiness, a celebration of music so joyful that it’s impossible to resist to these infectious melodies.”
- POPNEWS (France)
“brimful of glorious harmonies…good Beatles-ish keyboards, McCartney-esque vocals and a feelgood sensibility.”
- Jackie Hayden, HOTPRESS (Ireland)
About Jack and The’:
Jack and the’ is a pop project led by Julien Lonchamp, a Frenchman in exile in Edinburgh. Vacation (a pop manifesto), Jack and the’s debut album, was written during Julien’s unfortunate PhD in food science in Dublin. Swapping research on lettuce and cabbage aromas for orchestration and sound engineering, he then proceeded to record the album, which was subsequently mixed by the crème de la crème of French pop: Orwell, Variety Lab and Cascadeur. Originally released in Thailand by the Smallroom Records, Vacation is now getting a UK release on Folkwit Records in June 2012.
The idea behind Vacation was to combine catchy melodies with elaborate orchestrations and song structures, creating a new sound, somewhere between pop, chamber music and jazz. Live-wise, the band performs as a quartet (vocals/guitar, flute, bass and drums) and is regularly accompanied by members of the Apostrophe Ensemble (clarinet, trombone, violin, cello). The band has extensively played in Ireland, Scotland and France, alongside the likes of the High Llamas, Orwell, Republic of Loose and Housse de Racket. Jack and the’ is also behind a series of concerts in Edinburgh named Pop Exchange, in which they invite another band from the pop sphere for a gig which culminates in an impromptu musical collaboration!