Apparently my subconscious is gravitating toward Europe lately. Tonight’s album is from a band who is not only from England, but is female-fronted. We’re taking a listen to the recent EP from The Joy Formidable – The Big More.
This is a five track EP, featuring a live track, a cover, a remix, and a first-time recording. Do I know which songs go with which labels? No idea. This is my first listen of the band, and with Cradle, it was a decent first impression. My iTunes is listing this as Alternative, but it’s kind of DanceElectronicRock. Ritzy Bryan’s vocals are so in sync with this kind of music, though, it meshes perfectly like a puzzle.
I don’t care quite as much for the Cradle (Fang Island Remix), but that’s okay. Remixes are always hit or miss.
Anemone is a slower track – and apparently this is the live favorite that has been recorded for the first time. For nearly two-thirds of the song, there is little instrumentation over Bryan’s voice, then things kick into higher gear for a rousing choral performance.
The live track is Whirring, which I’m not going to lie, I started without realizing this was the live one so I kept pausing the song because I thought someone was outside screaming and/or being murdered. When I finally realized that this was merely a crowd on the track happening in my headphones, I relaxed into the music. Though this is a longer track (coming in at 10 minutes and three seconds), it’s done right. Like I already mentioned, the crowd is present, which is necessary to me for a live track. There is plenty of celebration of Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas’ musical abilities before Bryan kicks in with her lead vocals. I found myself nodding my head before I even knew it. The drumming near the end of the song is out of this world.
By process of elimination, I realized that the last track on the EP, It’s Over, is the cover song. A little Googling proves to me it is – and it’s a cover of Roy Orbison, which is a really interesting artist for this band to cover. Before I finished the track, I made sure to listen to Roy’s version – and while Joy Formidable doesn’t massacre the song by any means, it isn’t completely on par with the original. Quite interesting to listen to the versions back to back, though.
This five track EP is enough to bring The Joy Formidable to my attention and makes me want to check out their full length efforts. And this band does know how to do live tracks, I can say that much.
Whirring (Live) (track 4)
Cradle (track 1)