The Joy Formidable

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The Joy Formidable
TheJoyFormidableAtMetro.jpg
The Joy Formidable, performing at Metro in Chicago on 14 December 2011. Left to right: Rhydian Dafydd, Ritzy Bryan, Matt Thomas.
Background information
Origin North Wales, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock, dream pop, shoegazing, indie rock
Years active 2007–present
Labels Canvasback Music, Atlantic Records, Warner Music Group, Black Bell Records
Website www.thejoyformidable.com
Members Rhiannon "Ritzy" Bryan
Rhydian Dafydd Davies
Matthew James Thomas
Past members Justin Stahley

The Joy Formidable is a Welsh alternative rock band, formed in 2007 in North Wales and currently located in London, England. The band consists of Rhiannon "Ritzy" Bryan (lead vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals), and Matthew James Thomas (drums, percussion).

History[edit]

Beginning (2007–2009)[edit]

Ritzy Bryan performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2010

Childhood friends and then couple Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd originally played together as part of Manchester band Tricky Nixon, which later reformed into Sidecar Kisses.[1] After Sidecar Kisses split up in 2007 they regrouped, returning to their Welsh home town of Mold, and formed The Joy Formidable with Justin Stahley on drums.[2] In July 2008 they released their first official single, "Austere", followed by a Christmas single, "My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees", as a 2008 digital download, and the "Cradle" double 7" in 2009. In January 2009 their self-released debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, was issued in the UK.

In 2009 they replaced Justin Stahley with Matthew James Thomas. That April they teamed with a new label started by Passion Pit's Ayad Al Adhamy, Black Bell Records, to release A Balloon Called Moaning in the U.S, earning favourable reviews from NME, The Guardian, The Times, Spin and Pitchfork.

The Big Roar (2010–2011)[edit]

In 2010, the band signed to Canvasback Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic, and they began to work on their debut album The Big Roar which was recorded in London.[3] Bassist Rhydian Dafydd said that "(it) covers a lot of emotional range. It's captured the battle between the eternal optimist and the manic depressive". The album was produced by The Joy Formidable with help from engineer Neak Menter. The band traveled to Los Angeles to mix it with producer Rich Costey, who had worked with bands such as Mew, Muse, Foo Fighters and Glasvegas.

The Big Roar was released on 24 January 2011 and included early singles "Austere", "Cradle" and "Whirring" as well as two further singles, "I Don't Want to See You Like This" and "A Heavy Abacus" ("Whirring" was later sampled by The Lonely Island on "YOLO").[4] In November 2011 their song "Endtapes" was featured on the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn film soundtrack.

Wolf's Law (2012–2014)[edit]

Most of the writing for Wolf's Law was done on the road during the 12-month tour in support of their previous record, The Big Roar.[5] Commenting on the writing process for the album, Bryan explained that the songs for the album were approached with vocals and one accompaniment (either guitar or piano) before being built upon, stating "It's all about the lyrics, the voice and the melody".[6] The vocals and guitars were recorded in January 2012 in Maine, while drums and additional orchestral and choir pieces for the record were scored and recorded by the band in February 2012 in London.[7] Mixing duties for the record were handled by Andy Wallace while the records production was completed by the band.[8] The album title is a reference to Wolff's law, a scientific theory by Julius Wolff which posits that bones may become stronger in response to stress as a form of adaptation. According to Bryan, this relates to one of the major themes of the album which is "relationships on the mend and feeling reinvigorated", continuing that the album feels like the band reconnecting with themselves emotionally and spiritually.[8][9]

On 23 August 2012 the band released a new song, "Wolf's Law", for free download. Two other singles, "Cholla" and "This Ladder Is Ours", were released in order to promote their second album. Wolf's Law was released on 21 January 2013 in the UK and on the following day in the US.

For Record Store Day on 20 April 2013, the Joy Formidable released a limited-edition 12" single featuring Wolf's Law outtake "A Minute's Silence" backed by a live cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Badlands".[10]

On 16 July 2013 the band released the EP Silent Treatment. The four-song EP included William Orbit's remix of the title track and the new song "All This Promise."[11]

Discography[edit]

The Joy Formidable on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading Festival in 2008

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
UK US
Heat
US
2011 The Big Roar 31 8 -
2013 Wolf's Law 41 - 51

Extended plays[edit]

Album
2008,
2009
2010
A Balloon Called Moaning

Japan edition

  • Released: December 2008[12]
  • Label: Rallye Records

UK edition

  • Released: 19 January 2009[13]
  • Label: Pure Groove Records

US edition

2011 Roarities
  • Released September 2011.
The Big More
  • Released October 2011.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK CAN
Alt

[15]
US
Alt
US
Rock
2008 "My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder Than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees"[A]
"Austere" (Vinyl only)[B] A Balloon Called Moaning
2009 "Cradle" (Vinyl only)[B]
"Whirring" (Vinyl only)[B]
2010 "Greyhounds in the Slips" (featuring Paul Draper)
"Popinjay"
"I Don't Want to See You Like This" The Big Roar
2011 "Austere" (re-release)
"Whirring" (re-release) 8 7 21
"A Heavy Abacus" 25
"Cradle" (re-release)
2012 "Wolf's Law" Wolf's Law
"Cholla"
"This Ladder Is Ours" 24
2013 "A Minute's Silence"
2014 "Yn Rhydiau'r Afon"
2014 "Tynnu Sylw"

Other media[edit]

Notes:

  • A - The track was released as a free download for Christmas during December 2008.
  • B - The track later appeared on the studio album The Big Roar.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "British band Sidecar Kisses in Malta gig". Malta Media. 11 May 2007. 
  2. ^ "Putting on the Ritz". Wales online. 17 Sep 2008. 
  3. ^ The Joy Formidable - Full Biography. MTV. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  4. ^ "YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)". YouTube. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  5. ^ Olly Douglas (7 November 2012). "Interview: The Joy Formidable". Muso's Guide. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Gary K. (10 January 2013). "The Joy Formidable interview". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Tom Lanham (23 November 2012). "The PV Q&A: The Joy Formidable's Ritzy Bryan Talks Wolf's Law +The Flaws of Corporate Greed". PureVolume. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Jeff Yerger (4 May 2012). "The Joy Formidable Need A Quiet Space to Make a Big Noise". Spin. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  9. ^ The Joy Formidable (27 December 2012). "Ritzy on the title "Wolf's Law"". Facebook. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Joy Formidable - A Minute's Silence (Record Store Day Release)". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  11. ^ Saeger, John (2013-07-16). "Joy Formidable Give Silent Treatment In New EP". Long After Dark. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Joy Formidable, The - A Balloon Called Moaning (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  13. ^ "Joy Formidable, The - A Balloon Called Moaning (CD, Album, MP3) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  14. ^ "Joy Formidable, The - A Balloon Called Moaning (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  15. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Alternative Rock - October 4, 2011". America's Music Charts. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 

External links[edit]