Tag Archives: shoe gaze

New Music: No Joy, Everything New; Moon In My Mouth

No Joy, “Moon In My Mouth”; “Everything New” (Mexican Summer)

Montreal-based No Joy return with a track from the forthcoming long player, More Faithful.

Emerging from the bristled haze of their first two albums, these new tracks take a lighter touch.  The band’s debut, Ghost Blonde, was mixed by Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes, and No Joy seem to be following a similar musical trajectory; with each release, layers of feedback and reverb squall have been scraped and peeled away like so much wallpaper, revealing a lighter, pop core beneath. Granted, this version of “pop” retains the narcotic swirl and sway of shoe gaze (think Lush, Pale Saints), dream pop, later period Cocteau Twins, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration-era The Cure, etc.

“Everything” is the more straight forward of the two, a hypnotic combination of looping drums and chiming guitar; vocalists Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd caress their lines.  “Moon” features similarly ethereal vocals, this time juxtaposed against a counter tempo that makes the track list uneasily without, somehow, losing direction entirely; a languid guitar refrain holds things together.

When posting “Moon” on their Facebook page, the band said “it is not happy, it is not sad but what is it?” leaving the answer to the listener.  The question could easily be applied to both songs – each has a greyscale, melancholic quality, but is it a wistful look back upon past experience, or one tinged with regret?  As with many things, both seem apt.

More Faithful is due June 9, on Mexican Summer (US) and Arts & Crafts (Canada) – a link to a video teaser for the entire album is below.  No Joy is also on tour, starting in May – dates here.


New (To Me!) Band of the Day: Novella


Novella EP (Italian Beach Babes)

“The Things You Do”, “Land Gone”, “Sentences” (Synderlyn)

A novella is a literary form characterized more by what it isn’t than what it is; longer and more complex than a short story, but shorter and perhaps less complex than a novel (and great for book reports! – if memory serves).  Famous examples include:  The Little Prince, Metamorphosis, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Animal Farm and A Clockwork Orange.

Novella is also a London-based five piece, with a penchant for both hazy, psychedelic and more dreamy, shoegaze inspired atmospherics What does the band have in common with the written work?  Probably not much but, according to Wikipedia, the word ‘novella’ is the feminine form of the Italian word ‘novello’, meaning ‘new’ and I recently heard the band for the first time – compelling connection, no?  In this interview (on the always great The Line of Best Fit), the band picked the name at random because it sounded both feminine and like a medication, so we’re all grasping here… on to the review, then.

The tracks on their debut, self-titled EP come enveloped in a Velvet-y cloak of droney reverb and distortion, shot through with sudden bursts of energy – particularly on songs like “He’s My Morning” – and overlaid with detached, laconic vocals of singer Hollie Warren.  On newer tracks, from their forthcoming debut full length, “Land” – out May 12 on Synderlyn Records – the production feels lighter, while retaining the psychedelic vibe.  Stand out tracks like “Land Gone” open brightly – the swirling rush of guitars (phasers and flangers!) and delicate harmonies invoking Lush and Döppelganger-era Curve, as well as newer bands like Toy, the last 30 seconds featuring a muscular, crash cymbal heavy rock out.  “Sentences”, another highlight, unfurls, at around the 1:30 mark, into a blissfully gorgeous kaleidoscopic soundscape.

Check out Novella on their Facebook page and website