“A Country Life” is the fourth album by Ginnels and their second release on Tenorio Cotobade, after last year’s “Plumes”. Originally started as a Dublin-based solo project by Mark Chester, from Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club, between 2011 and 2012 Ginnels released the albums “Ginnels”, “Mountbatten Class” and “Crowns”. 14 tracks from those three records and other online exclusives were compiled on “Plumes”, the band’s first release on vinyl. Drawing comparisons to The Feelies, Guided by Voices, the Elephant 6 collective and the great pop legacies of labels such as Flying Nun and Sarah, “Plumes” was lauded as one of the best releases of 2013 by Not Unloved, Pop Lib, Unpopular and other international pop sites.
Along with Chester, these days Ginnels comprises Paddy Hanna and Bobby Aherne from Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club, with Squarehead’s Roy Duffy and Ruan Van Vliet. “A Country Life” is a bit of a departure in so much as it’s the first Ginnels release to involve “proper drums” and also the first non-compilation LP release by the band. Meant from the beginning to be a focused, pure-pop 37-minute LP, a direct response to the supposed “death of the album” and an attempt to try and make something shiny and unashamedly not lo-fi, “A Country Life” takes its cues from classic songwriting and a desire to air grievances in public. That said, with absolutely no budget, the drums being recorded in a cupboard and everything else recorded in a 6’ x 6’ box room, some things haven’t changed.