The Joy Formidable
|The Joy Formidable|
The Joy Formidable, performing at Metro in Chicago on 14 December 2011. Left to right: Rhydian Dafydd, Ritzy Bryan, Matt Thomas.
|Origin||North Wales, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Alternative rock, dream pop, shoegazing, indie rock, post-punk|
|Labels||Canvasback Music, Atlantic Records, Warner Music Group, Black Bell Records|
|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).
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. 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. In July 2008, they released their first official single, "Austere". It was followed by a Christmas single, "My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees", issued 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 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)
In 2010, the band signed to Canvasback Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic, and began work on their debut album ,The Big Roar which was recorded in London. 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"). In November 2011, their song "Endtapes" was featured on the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn film soundtrack.
Wolf's Law (2012–2014)
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. 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". 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. Mixing duties for the record were handled by Andy Wallace while the records production was completed by the band. The album title referred 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 related to one of the major themes of the album, which is "relationships on the mend and feeling reinvigorated"; she continued that the album felt like the band reconnecting with themselves emotionally and spiritually.
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 U.S.
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".
The Joy Formidable on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading Festival in 2008.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart
|The Big Roar||31||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|A Balloon Called Moaning||
|The Big More||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Austere"[A]||2008||—||—||A Balloon Called Moaning
and The Big Roar
|"Popinjay"[B]||2010||—||—||The Big Roar|
|"I Don't Want to See You Like This"||—||—|
|"A Heavy Abacus"||2011||25||—|
|"This Ladder Is Ours"||2012||24||—||Wolf's Law|
|"A Minute's Silence"||2013||—||—||N/A|
|"Silent Treatment"||—||—||Wolf's Law|
|"Yn Rhydiau'r Afon"||2014||—||—||Aruthrol|
|"Y Garreg Ateb"||2015||—||—|
|"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.|
- A - These tracks were re-released in 2011 in promotion of The Big Roar.
- B - This track was included only on the Japanese edition of The Big Roar
- "British band Sidecar Kisses in Malta gig". Malta Media. 11 May 2007.
- "Putting on the Ritz". Wales online. 17 Sep 2008.
- The Joy Formidable - Full Biography. MTV. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)". YouTube. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Olly Douglas (7 November 2012). "Interview: The Joy Formidable". Muso's Guide. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Gary K. (10 January 2013). "The Joy Formidable interview". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- 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.
- Jeff Yerger (4 May 2012). "The Joy Formidable Need A Quiet Space to Make a Big Noise". Spin. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- The Joy Formidable (27 December 2012). "Ritzy on the title "Wolf's Law"". Facebook. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "The Joy Formidable - A Minute's Silence (Record Store Day Release)". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Saeger, John (2013-07-16). "Joy Formidable Give Silent Treatment In New EP". Long After Dark. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- The Joy Formidable - Official Charts Company
- The Joy Formidable - Allmusic // Awards
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Joy Formidable.|
- Official website
- Interview with What's On Wales
- The Joy Formidable biography from BBC Wales
- The Joy Formidable's Reading and Leeds appearance on BBC