The Joy Formidable – Into the Blue (2021) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

The Joy Formidable – Into the Blue (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 50:17 minutes | 631 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Hassle Records

Welsh trio with a predilection for delivering stadium-sized riffs with shoegazey vistas and dreamy post-punk riffage, The Joy Formidable return with their stunning new album Into The Blue.

Taking a cue from bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine, and Arcade Fire, the trio have continued to push their expansive sound on previous studio albums, from the breakthrough debut The Big Roar (2011), through to the last studio album AAARTH (2018), whilst always maintaining the hook-driven indie rock foundation laid down on their debut EP A Balloon Called Moaning (2009).

Welsh alt-rockers the Joy Formidable may very well be on the cusp of a sort of rebirth 14 years and five albums into their career. The group’s first two albums commanded considerable and warranted attention, due to their then-unique approach which applied atmospheric and emotional filigree to pounding rock that somehow managed to be forceful, grandiose, catchy, and uniquely constructed. Despite that attention, the band was dropped from their major label and self-released their next two albums. But a funny thing happened on the way to becoming a past-tense indie rock obscurity. Opening gigs for Foo Fighters, an invitation from Robert Smith to play the Meltdown Festival he curated, and a pandemic-hastened full-band relocation from Wales to Utah (where singer Ritzy Bryan had lived off and on for the past few years) led to a rapid-fire string of one-off singles throughout 2020 and 2021 that showed a band continuing to evolve their sound. And now, with a new label at their back, the Joy Formidable has delivered the 11-song Into the Blue, as confident and sonically dense as any of the band’s previous work, but also more complex and emotionally rich. Songs like “Left Too Soon” show clearly where the band is at these days, more fully exploring their unique blend of crushingly atmospheric dirge-pop, with an emphasis on darker shades and thick dynamics. Similarly, a track like “Interval” seems like a jaunty, air-guitar-ready rocker, but there’s also a thick undercurrent of dissonance as well as a streak of weary darkness to Bryan’s vocal delivery. This emotional intensity persists throughout the album, often resulting in a dizzying sense of disorientation (“Gotta Feed My Dog” is among the heaviest tracks here, but it’s also so densely layered that it’s nearly psychedelic). By the time Into the Blue wraps up with “Somewhere New,” it’s clear that the band has its sights on some new sonic possibilities, with its dark and delicate Spanish-style acoustic guitars. Taken all together, this is a well-deserved victory lap and a sad reflection on the state of the world today, and one can only hope that it’s pointing toward equally rewarding future adventures. – Jason Ferguson


1. Into the Blue (05:20)
2. Chimes (03:53)
3. Sevier (03:57)
4. Interval (05:28)
5. Farrago (03:43)
6. Gotta Feed My Dog (05:19)
7. Somewhere New (02:55)
8. Bring It to the Front (03:59)
9. Back to Nothing (04:30)
10. Only Once (05:00)
11. Left Too Soon (06:13)