Introducing: The Joy Formidable

Sean Ward
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So this week I will be showcasing the talents of another British trio, however their music could not be further from Daughter if they tried. Welsh grunge rock band The Joy Formidable have slowly been making waves in the UK indie scene since their formation in 2007, they released a brilliant mini album entitled A Balloon Called Moaning, which included rough demo versions of the anthemic ‘Whirring‘ and ‘Cradle‘, along with the frantic and gritty ‘Ostrich‘, which will forever remain one of my favourite tracks.

They followed this with a spectacular debut entitled The Big Roar. It practically soared from beneath the radar with its overwhelming grandeur and pure potential. The sound this band create is staggering, especially when you consider it comes from just three musicians; granted they are exceptionally skilled. If you want to witness the vastness and mammoth effect of TJF, the best example would be album closer ‘The Greatest Light is The Greatest Shade‘, a cinematic, epic piece of alt rock that builds from Ritzy’s distinctive whispered vocals and opens onto the planes of a battle field. Truly gripping stuff. This album gained so much appreciation from fans and critics alike that the prestigious BBC Introducing offered the band the opportunity to open their stage at the 2011 Radio 1’s Big Weekend. This event was being headlined by Dave Grohl, lead singer of Foo Fighters. He was revealed to be a huge fan of the band and invited them to support their upcoming US tour.

So in a short amount of time, this bizarre band from a sleepy town in Wales had managed to conquer the UK and US on the merits of their debut. Pressure was surely on to match this with a highly anticipated second album Wolf’s Law which was released earlier this year; look past the stunning and visceral cover of this LP and you will find an album packed with the same high standard of well produced and gargantuan sized rock gems. Lead single ‘Cholla’ has an infectious hook and a build of fire and anger, where you can feel Ritzy’s aggression oozing out.

I can also highly recommend this band’s live show, having seen them play three times in tiny rooms, huge halls and festival fields; they bring the frenetic energy of their music to life with extended instrumentals and insane visuals which can create a frenzy within a crowd from the simple movement of Ritzy’s demonic stare. It’s no wonder they were recently chosen to open for the legendary Muse on their UK stadium tour. I was really keen to bring a band that I have true adoration for to a wider audience. They are still establishing themselves so all support is greatly appreciated. This band are slightly overwhelming on first listen, but persevere as once you become accustomed to the barrage of drums and guitar, you uncover incredible musicianship and intelligent songwriting. Listen to ‘Austere‘ and imagine a sunny festival field soaked in mud and beer, I challenge you to hate it.

About Sean Ward

Design type pokemon, often found in tall grass at festivals covered in mud and neon paint. A strong obsession with tea, cocktails and Kate Bush. Sharing musical nuggets of goodness each week. @Sean_Ward93