Home > News & Reviews > The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable - AAARTH (Album Review)

Thursday, 18 October 2018 Written by Milly McMahon

Having relocated from north Wales’ sweeping earthscapes to the rugged surroundings of Utah, the Joy Formidable have morphed expansively into a world of riff-heavy dream-gaze on their new album ‘AAARTH’.

Dripping in grand ambition, charging with blood-filled intent towards each emotional crescendo, here Ritzy Bryan’s guitars roar and her vocals soar, while Matthew James Thomas’s drums beat a threatening warning.

The trio’s departure from major label Atlantic following album two was embraced as a new chapter in which they might pursue fresh opportunities.

While ‘Hitch’ felt like an extension of their earlier work, its follow up explores a sound that requires conviction and experience to execute successfully. Those are qualities that the Joy Formidable possess, but they have challenged themselves hugely creating ‘AAARTH'. That alone should earn the band respect, even if the aesthetic may divide listeners.

Moments like Absence and All in All arrive to pause time and motion on a fast-paced collection. Beautifully delicate piano and cello lead Bryan’s ethereal tones in a poignant juxtaposition with the progressively harder rock that dominates the landscape. The guitar work on 'AAARTH' is also impressive, with Dance of the Lotus and Go Loving bringing the drama and showcasing the high octane results of the band’s melodic cohesion.

The LP is front-loaded, though, and later songs are ultimately forgettable. After the dust has settled, Cicada stands as the highlight. Both exotic and provocative, the siren-like qualities of the lyrics are deeply affecting: “Darkness and light, nothing to choose. Follow them all until it soothes. Land on your back and flap my wings. It's not for the sleeping that I sing.”

The Joy Formidable recently completed a tour with Foo Fighters and it seems their slow-burning status is continuing. Even with its flaws, ‘AAARTH’ has the right qualities to bring the world’s attention into sharper focus.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




Related News

The Joy Formidable Plot February UK Tour
Mon 22 Oct 2018
The Joy Formidable have lined up a UK tour in February.
The Joy Formidable Post Video For 'AAARTH' Track The Better Me
Wed 12 Sep 2018
The Joy Formidable have released a video for The Better Me.
The Joy Formidable Unveil Psychedelic Video For New Single The Wrong Side
Tue 07 Aug 2018
The Joy Formidable have released a video for the new single from their upcoming fourth studio album, 'AAARTH'.
Thom Yorke Shares Two New Classical Singles
Mon 29 Apr 2019
Thom Yorke has released two new tracks.
Idlewild - Interview Music (Album Review)
Fri 12 Apr 2019
‘Interview Music’, Idlewild’s eighth studio album, finds them following up on the relative success of their 2015 comeback ‘Everything Ever Written’. After a break of six years, that LP surprised a few by sending their sweeping indie-rock back into the UK top 20. Here, though, things seem a little different.
The Hives Announce First Album In Seven Years, Release New Track I'm Alive
Fri 17 May 2019
The Hives are back!
The Futureheads Return With New Song Jekyll Ahead Of UK Tour
Thu 02 May 2019
The Futureheads are back with a new single titled Jekyll.
Lewis Capaldi Announces Spring 2020 UK Arena Tour - Tickets On Sale Friday April 26
Thu 18 Apr 2019
Lewis Capaldi will make the step up to arenas in spring 2020.
 
< Prev   Next >