Blending the pop mechanics of Twenty One Pilots with the quirky writing of Mother Mother, Joywave offer up a musical experience that moves bodies and hearts.
The New York band also moved hearts in their hometown of Rochester by sponsoring a Little League baseball team called the Southside Joywave. After a frantic Twitter exchange the band quickly got involved to support the team, pulling in funds from all over and broadcasting the team’s journey over their social media.
After some time on the road the band is back, and just launched their sophomore record Content.
Content is quite the sucker punch of an album. Opening track “Content” carries a cinematically charged electronic push that sets a heavy mood in its sombre delivery. Dropping like a ton of bricks, the tracks choruses max out the distortion for an explosive result that will definitely be a shock the system on first listen. “Shutdown” offers a synth power-pop ballad, letting the vocals drive the melody and hefty bass shift everything to a more danceable mood.
Moving to a more menacing riff on “It’s a Trip!” they find something insanely catchy in dark and intimidating hooks. Their quirky sense of tone and sound exploration keeps things interesting. Pushing a fuzzy bass line and an electronic tick in the beats, “Rumors” sees the band really get in the dirt with their sound. Grooving into the chorus, the song finds its instrumentation landing smoothly in luscious vocals.
Stripping things back on “Confidence,” simple piano and vocals demand a more intimate listening experience. This said, it does feel like it’s supposed to be an intro or outro to another track, and without a strong connecting tissue, feels a little too short on its own. “Doubt” rolls along with bombastic attitude thanks to its drums and gritty guitar notes. Even with its creeping synths and builds, the song’s chorus eases up more than it brings it to a climax, making for something catchy, but less powerful.
“Going to a Place” shifts more into their shady tones, as the band crafts something creepy and dynamic through clever production on their drums and keys. The real treat, however, is the diving bridges where the drums go wild, creating solid footing for the rest of the band to go a little crazy. Moving things in a slightly pessimistic direction, “Little Lies You’re Told” takes shots at the unrealistic hopeful statements we’re told as youth that end up setting our expectations too high.
Switching to a pounding drum section, the song goes into aggressive spoken-word, for a memorable and surprising moment on the album.
Taking in tones of Interpol and even some LCD Soundsystem synth notes, “When You’re Bored” blends the world of electronica and indie in the most earnest sounds of the album. The glistening guitar that litters the chorus is a delightful complement to the electronic beat, and comes together in a smart blend. Opening on more abstract tones, and a loosely experimental verse, “Thanks. Thanks for Coming” completely switches to a bass-driven, echo-laden track that feels like more of a mood-piece than pop song. Closing things on a bit of jazz and a cloudy downbeat ballad, “Let’s Talk About Feelings” is more ominous than its title may have you believe, especially through the elegant and complex piano lines.