The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning

When we talked to The Joy Formidable a few weeks back they referred to this collection of 8 songs as a "snapshot of where (the band is) material-wise." This modesty undersells what is only a song or two away from being the most exciting album of 2009 so far - and one which showcases a band intent on carving out a significant future for themselves.

There's a captivating frisson when a couple write break-up songs especially when, as in the case here, the parties involved trade lines back and forth at each other over shimmering guitars. A siren-like loop opens "The Greatest Light...", as if warning of heartache to come and when Ritzy Bryan tells us that "This dream is in a telescope now", it's an understanding that tomorrow is an unknown continent of desire and disappointment - a foreign land indeed.



The band's second single "Cradle" is even more desparate ("All I want is to see the end of this") and by the time the acoustic "9669" comes around ("We meant to part sweeter") it's time to pick your crumpled form up from the floor and move on. For the elegiac guitars also underpin a strength, a pheonix-like desire to carry on ("A calm day will come") leading you back to that name: The Joy Formidable. The faith that the good things will outlive the bad.

The power and drive of early Placebo, the glacial cool of those first few Curve EPs. A majesty that recalls half-forgotten Siouxsie & The Banshees singles like "Last Beat of My Heart". We're very excited - both about this release and what treasures will come in the future.

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Overall

8

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 20:41:04

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