Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade” by The Joy Formidable from the 2010 album A Balloon Called Moaning on Black Bell Records.
Not so long ago, vocalist and guitarist Ritzy Brian teamed up with bassist Rhydian Dafydd to form The Joy Formidable, after leaving behind their previous project, Tricky Nixon, which featured a big transformation from the British indie rock style to a genre that suggested a more experimental, psychedelic and avant-garde sound: art rock. Just as soon as the duo was joined by drummer Matt Thomas back in 2007, the band’s dream-pop sound coalesced and very first single, “Austere”, was released the following year, along with different mini-versions of their now debut eight-song album, A Ballon Called Moaning.
What is most interesting about The Joy Formidable is the band’s usage of space to write, record and produce their very own music; the trio from Wales went for the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach as they recorded all the songs in small area of a bedroom studio. The homemade A Balloon Called Moaning is a great achievement, showing the band’s potential, by assembling an abstract musical story that seems to take place in a surreal world.
Today’s song of the day, “The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade,” is proof of that, and also of The Joy Formidable progressive and radical waves of sound, as the guitar streaming elevates to a cheerful attitude that is accompanied by the wide-ranged vocal harmonies of Brian, and the style becomes an imaginary, and an irregular dosis melodious of post-punk and jolts of psychedelic rock.
The Joy Formidable is currently touring in Australia, and will be heading to the United States next month, performing for the 8th Annual KEXP BBQ on August 14. More information on that is coming up soon, and for more about the band, visit their MySpace page. For now, here is the video for their debut single, “Austere”: