The Joy Formidable has plied its loudly melodic Shoegaze Pop trade well beyond its Welsh homeland since forming in 2007, but the trio has simply exploded over the past year. Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist/vocalist Rhydian Dafydd did stints with Tricky Nixon and Sidecar Kisses before heading home to assemble The Joy Formidable with drummer Justin Stahley (Matt Thomas took over two years later). After a handful of singles and the mini-LP A Balloon in Moaning, the threesome moved to London where they acquired a reputation as a ferocious live act, earning them opening slots with Editors and Passion Pit, among others.
Last January, The Joy Formidable released its full-length debut, The Big Roar, and the band’s roller coaster has barely slowed down in the past 15 months. Since The Big Roar, the trio has toured with fans Foo Fighters, played the Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading festivals in England and the Fun Fun Fun Fest, Lollapalooza and Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival in the U.S. The band also had a song placed on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One soundtrack. It hasn’t hurt that the Joy Formidable’s press kit is jammed with glowing praise from Pitchfork, Spin, NME, The Guardian and The New York Times’ Jon Pareles, who has been particularly vocal in his support of the band.
But even great press won’t sell a band that can’t translate their studio chemistry to the live arena. The Joy Formidable have no problems with chemistry or translation, and each howlingly visceral live gig is a breathless word-of-mouth advertisement for the next show.
THE JOY FORMIDABLE plays Friday, March 23 with guests A Place to Bury Strangers and Exit Music. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.