Founded in 2010 and hailing from New York, Joywave have produced their second EP How Do You Feel, and with influences that range from Hot Chip and The Rapture to the likes of Grinspoon, this EP is schizophrenic to say the least.
The first half of the EP has an electro-pop song that would make Miike Snow and Robert DeLong pretty cranky that they hadn’t the finesse to write tunes this good themselves. The second half of the EP hails back to the rock‘n‘roll that we heard from the likes of Grinspoon, with the angst of Manchester Orchestra and the groove of The Rapture. Despite the fact that Joywave can’t seem to decide upon their genre, they do justice to both sounds and this EP satisfies both the angry 15 year and the 22 year old party animal in all.
‘Tongues’ is my favourite song on the album. It opens up with a poppy, catchy, borderline hip-hop, riff. The punchy bass builds up the track and by the chorus you have to get up and boogie. However it took me a good twenty minutes of googling to be convinced that ‘Tongues’ wasn’t written by or was featuring Hot Chip. Even the structure of the song is the same, maintaining pace throughout and not trying to make too much of it. That is not to say that Joywave aren’t completely unoriginal. They are far less sleepy than Hot Chip, finishing with a percussive outro that leaves you wanting more.
‘In Clover’ opens with a zippy intro that, although has a similar sound to ‘Tongues,’ contains more of their individual flavour and less evidence of their musical influences. The percussive bongos and maraccas that form the outro of ‘Tongues’ seem to make the backing for ‘In Clover.’ This links the songs nicely showing a common thread but still some variation.
‘Somebody New’ is appropriately titled, as it appears as if somebody entirely new has written this song. The heavy guitars that form the introduction are a real shock to the system. Losing the smooth, electronic sound that we hear in ‘Tongues’ and ‘In Clover’ we get some good old-fashioned punk rock. It’s great to see the range of Joywave but this isn’t my favourite song on the album. It’s just a little to angsty for my liking.
‘Now’ has the same feel as ‘Somebody New’ but is done a lot better. It has more pace and a more positive sound. The vocalist has the voice of an angry, grungy angel with some great emotional lyrics such as ‘everything was white’. The guitar riffs and solos are something that I haven’t heard for a while and are fun to listen to. The bridge breaks from a heavy distortion to acoustic, rhythmic strumming before building back again with the guitarist playing along with the vocalists melody. The end of the song brings in a synth – somewhat reminiscent of ‘Tongues’ and ‘In Clover’ – before building up the outro. This is some fun pop-rock that I haven’t heard for a while and is quite enjoyable to listen to if your tastes are so inclined.
This album is edgy and different with two distinct sounds that cover a broad range of genres and listeners. This is a strong EP and I can definitely see ‘Tongues’ becoming quite popular. I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.
How Do You Feel? EP is available now from iTunes.