The Joy Formidable :: Wolf’s Law
My first encounter with The Joy Formidable’s new album was a fantastic live performance of the first album track, This Ladder is Ours, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I was immediately taken by the song, and enthralled that there was a new album coming. The song starts out the album with a highly cinematic feel to it, I sit and listen, half-expecting the lights around me to dim and a big screen to fall down in front of me, with the start of a film full of drama and intrigue, and most likely an anticipated first kiss, to begin. The start of the song is gorgeous and dramatic, a wonderful way to start an album; from the first few moments I am hooked and anticipating more.
The film soundtrack worthy first moments lead into something stronger, a hand-held combination of alternative rock and power pop that I immediately connected with when I watched them rock out Jimmy Fallon’s studio audience. My first thought is that I am connecting so much more with this album already then I did with their first album, The Big Roar, though I did love that album eventually in a slow-burner kind of way. This album though is a near love at first listen experience, yet another album this year that I am damn excited about. 2013, you may well be one of my favorite album release years in a long time!
My initial album favorite is the tender, vulnerable track, Silent Treatment. I am falling in love with the acoustic guitar in this song, so beautiful and stripped down sounding. There is this sound caught sometimes with acoustic guitars that is almost a squeak of strings, usually happening as fingers transition from chord to chord, that I adore; a sound that immediately reminds me of times spent in the company of musicians listening to them write music on their guitars, a sound that gives me immediate, good feeling chills.
Coming in as a close second favorite is the harder and edgier song Bats, a track that shares musical sensibilities with other female lead contemporaries, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Metric, but with a bit more oomph. This is one of those play loudly songs that I so want to scream-sing to while dancing around in circles, faster and faster, until I fall down, dizzy and worn out. This is also one of those songs that I am dying to hear played live.
The roller-coaster sound and feeling of Maw Maw Song has me fascinated, and it is up there clawing and clamoring its way into my favorite tracks list. At times this song feels like something that 90’s Bjork or The Cardigans might produce, at other times it harkens 70’s hard rock, like Black Sabbath, all this with an uncanny Renaissance Faire type beginning, and ending – this is one of those songs that will take you all over the place in the span of six minutes and forty-seven seconds.
Other stand-out tracks are Cholla, The Leopard and the Lung and of course the gorgeous opener, This Ladder is Ours. This album is fantastic and will require, nay demand, many more listens on my part. Go now go and get yourself a copy to listen to – try here first.
This Ladder is Ours (live)
Maw Maw Song (live)