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A Balloon Called Moaning

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iTunes Review

After a tasty appetizer — their “Popinjay” single — the Joy Formidable deliver the goods with their first main course, A Balloon Called Moaning. Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan sings in a sweetly crisp tone, eschewing the reverb-heavy style of so many au courant female indie-poppers; her sometimes multi-tracked vocals strike a sing-along chord, riding atop immense, energetic guitars. The Welsh trio has a knack for balancing a pop sensibility with hard-driving rock textures; songs like “The Last Drop” and “Austere” feel like huge, tidal waves of guitar ebbing and flowing on what are essentially bouncy pop rhythms. Early U.K. singles “Cradle” and “Whirring” (both bedroom recorded, as was “Austere”) are powerhouse jolts of shoegaze-influenced pop, with Bryan’s chirp and trill glistening through the dense layers. A Balloon Called Moaning is fun, catchy and surprisingly substantial in its relative brevity, making the Joy Formidable a band to watch.

Customer Reviews


Great sound. Solid from start to finish...has a bit of everything for alt. rock fans, from a pixies to slowdive esq era if that makes any sense. Strong female vocals, drums and guitar.

Got goosebumps

Out of this world great band. Must buy.

Very modern

Very modern sound, enjoyable, without being "weird". I like balanced music in that respect, and this is one of these albums.


Formed: 2007 in Mold, Wales

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After spending several years with the post-punk outfit Sidecar Kisses, vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd left the lineup and launched the Joy Formidable, drawing heavily from shoegaze and noisy alt-rock to create their new group's sound. Formed in North Wales in 2007, the band later resettled in London, where original drummer Justin Stahley was replaced by Matt Thomas. The Joy Formidable began building a buzz in 2008, making appearances at several British festivals and earning...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by The Joy Formidable

A Balloon Called Moaning, The Joy Formidable
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