You'll feel as though you've heard Merry Hell before.
Perhaps not physically, on their joyous debut album Blink... And You Miss It, or at one of their bouncing live shows, but you've heard them somewhere in your soul, the core of your being, where the most visceral, secret feelings lay.
You've heard them in that moment when simple pleasures become the most valuable; in the emotions stirred by family; when love is joyously requited; when someone you care about finds happiness.
And within their second album, Head Full Of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain, the band has surpassed the wildest expectations. Smoke has been bottled, magic dust channelled, the electrical cables of the studio fizzing and sparking as they convey this glorious sound.
Unencumbered by pretence, Merry Hell chronicle the everyday, the minutiae of life which goes unnoticed by most. But far from being humdrum, these microscopic moments of humanity and social observation are coaxed into glorious bloom by the songwriting pen.
And Merry Hell are certainly blessed with writing ability, whether it be in the kitchen sink vignettes of Virginia Kettle (surely one of the most important English songwriters of this generation); the romance and bombast of John Kettle's tours de force; the ethereal majesty of Bob Kettle's flights of lyrical fancy or the catchy, homespun wisdom of keyboard player Lee Goulding's contributions.
Add to all this the band's nailed-down, rock steady rhythm section, supplied by bass player Andrew Dawson and drummer Andy Jones, and somehow, incredibly, Merry Hell manage to conjure up something which surpasses even the formidable sum of its parts.
Theirs is the sound of a glorious coming-together of passion and fire, where each repeated listen strips away another layer. What you are listening to is the sound of seven bared souls, without guile, thoroughly honest. And what a sound it is.
Capable simultaneously of writing songs that will have friends round a campfire singing along, and the sort of pop that deserves to dominate radio, Head Full Of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain sees Merry Hell bringing in new instruments beyond the guitars and mandolin of their debut. Banjo, spinet and shuttle pipes are woven in, along with a stellar contribution from Dave Swarbrick, folk violin legend and long-time hero of the band.
Geographically, Merry Hell hail from England's working class north-west. Raised on the belief that an honest day's work deserves an honest day's pay, that you stand strong in unity with those around you, that those who fall are picked up, these souls flowered in communities where big society was a way of life ever before it became a political slogan.
But Merry Hell can't be placed on any map, because their music comes from among all of us, the places we live, whether they be green or grey, the ways we pass the day, the endless human interactions which shape our being. The sound of Merry Hell is in the crystal streams sparkling down the hillsides where, years ago, men traded their personal freedom to make the land open to us all. It is in the toil and sacrifice of the factory floor, the thrum of the traffic queue, the hush of the festival field at morning twilight... in all of the places where we allow dreams to take flight.
Adds Virginia Kettle: "Hearing people's stories is what inspires, and we're taking those stories and giving them to other people. I think what we've done with this album is very life-affirming, very positive."
"As a band, we're undoubtedly blessed with quality songwriters," says John Kettle.
"And during 2012 we spent a lot of time at festivals, both playing as a band and because we really enjoy the whole experience, and we really immersed ourselves in the sounds and the stories, which is where a lot of this album has come from."
'Let The Music Speak For Itself', they write, in a stirring rallying cry which has delighted crowds of all sizes and ages and now forms part of this album. And speak it does, in a language that means something to us all.
Radio / TV: Kieron Moyles, Moyles Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
Press: John Atkin, email@example.com
Booking: Damian Liptrot, firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviews, images, album review copies, multi-media content: Steve Heap, email@example.com
Click here to download the bands biography
Click here to download our press realease for Head Full Of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain