12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Joy Formidable’s mini-LP of 2010 (A Balloon Called Moaning) hinted at the Welsh group’s capacity for live shows that could singe the hair off your arms. It was alluring enough for major labels to come calling, and after signing with Atlantic, the band pulled four of the strongest tunes from that release and combined them with a handful of shiny new tracks for their official U.S. debut, The Big Roar.  This tiny trio makes music befitting the release’s title, with walls of guitars and sweeping crescendos that sound like a band twice as large. Singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan might be small in stature but her voice delivers beautifully; reverb swathes Bryan’s guitar notes, but her brawny, unadorned vocals are well suited to tunes like the billowing “The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie” and the muscular “Magnifying Glass.”  Elsewhere, Bryan’s slightly sweeter approach adds the right touch on tracks like the shoegazy “I Don’t Want to See You Like This” and the irresistibly frothy “Cradle,” one of the highlights from Balloon. (Other tracks from that release include “Austere,” “Whirring” and “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade.”)

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Joy Formidable’s mini-LP of 2010 (A Balloon Called Moaning) hinted at the Welsh group’s capacity for live shows that could singe the hair off your arms. It was alluring enough for major labels to come calling, and after signing with Atlantic, the band pulled four of the strongest tunes from that release and combined them with a handful of shiny new tracks for their official U.S. debut, The Big Roar.  This tiny trio makes music befitting the release’s title, with walls of guitars and sweeping crescendos that sound like a band twice as large. Singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan might be small in stature but her voice delivers beautifully; reverb swathes Bryan’s guitar notes, but her brawny, unadorned vocals are well suited to tunes like the billowing “The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie” and the muscular “Magnifying Glass.”  Elsewhere, Bryan’s slightly sweeter approach adds the right touch on tracks like the shoegazy “I Don’t Want to See You Like This” and the irresistibly frothy “Cradle,” one of the highlights from Balloon. (Other tracks from that release include “Austere,” “Whirring” and “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade.”)

TITLE TIME
7:44
2:19
4:04
3:30
3:40
6:47
4:51
1:46
2:46
3:44
3:08
5:19

About The Joy Formidable

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 high marks from publications like The Guardian, which recommended the band’s "darkly joyous soft-loud racket."

After releasing several singles, the group issued the mini-album A Balloon Called Moaning in early 2009. Tours with the Editors and Passion Pit followed, and the Joy Formidable issued a live album, First You Have to Get Mad, before signing with Black Bell Records, an independent label run by Passion Pit member Ayad Al Adhamy. With Black Bell’s support, A Balloon Called Moaning was released stateside in 2010. The Joy Formidable toured throughout the year and kicked off 2011 with the international release of The Big Roar, their well-received, full-length studio debut. The band spent the following year writing its second record while on the road supporting Muse. The resulting Wolf's Law, which was recorded in the small town of Casco, Maine, arrived in early 2013, and peaked at the number 51 slot on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and at number 41 on the U.K. Album Charts. The following year saw the band issuing a series of monthly, vinyl-only singles sung in their native Welsh, and in early 2016, they announced via Facebook that they would be releasing their much-anticipated third studio long player, Hitch, later that March. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Mold, Wales
  • FORMED
    2007

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