The Americana-tinged country duets of El Diablo have marked them out as one of Dublin's most distinctive and accomplished pop outfits. Now their debut album has arrived - and thankfully it lives up to the promise of the band's early live performances. These days duets are usually associated with either musicals or novelty albums, but while there's an element of role-playing in El Diablo the 11 songs here all feel deeply personal, using archaic language to communicate emotions as old as time. The shared vocals of Patrick Freyne, Anna Carey and Pol O'Conghaile, meanwhile, give the songs an added dimension which marks them out from the alt-country crowd. Melancholy, romantic and often amazingly assured, 23rd Psalm Cafe is a quiet triumph that should linger in the memory long after its flashier competitors have burned themselves out.
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