Intense and powerful indie pop from former Venus front man…
“One of the more unexpectedly pleasant surprises to have appeared in my reviews inbox of late is the eponymous debut album from Belgian three-piece Joy. Taking their inspiration from a biography of Jean Patou, a man who created the world’s most expensive perfume at the height of the Great Depression. The band are also named after said perfume.
Their music manages to sound somehow ancient and yet at the same time modern and powerful, a mixture of eerie olde folk and non formulaic indie played with the dynamics of an edgy alt-rock band. Anyone who’s read Rob Young’s Electric Eden book or is a fan of the musicians that the book documents will find much to like in the ambitious music that Joy create. With instrumentation limited to drums, guitar, cello and vocals, the songs are haunting and meditative, lent weight by the language used in the element-referencing lyrics. Words such as sea, storm, empires, graves, swords, revenge, chalk and coal abound giving the impression that the songs are part of some dark, arcane folk tradition and could have been around for centuries rather than mere months. Mid-album track “Sword” deserves a special mention for containing one of the most wonderful and satisfying guitar clangs ever committed to CD.” 8/10
- Duncan Fletcher, Subba-Cultcha
“As both a band name and an album title Joy is in danger of getting group and album in serious trouble with trading standards. That said the record sleeve more than strongly hints of an album that is more influenced by bauhaus and art house than happy house. “Joy” is an album that revels in dark corners and rising storms and it does so magnificantly. You may need to be in a certain place to get the most out of this one, but if you are there, breathe in deep the consumptive melancholia.”
- Neil King, FATEA
“…remarkable…a (future) major new group has written the first chapter of its work.”
“…melancholic rock with almost disarming integrity.”
- Fete de la Communaute Francaise
“A haunting timbre, an acoustic accompaniment with flights of electric riffs, the Joy on Myspace is not enough (we want more!)…”
“…beautiful and intense. Fans of Venus will listen (and cherish).”
- Out of Breath
“…rock music and classical baroque accents, all tinged with a little dark romance.”
“…beautiful rich musical textures, neatly structured with the precision of a Swiss watch…Huygens sings of alcohol, loss and love in a way reminiscent of Bonnie Prince Billy…”
Joy are a 3-piece Belgian band. They are Françoise Vidick on drums and vocals, Marc A. Huyghens on guitar and vocals and Anja Naucler on cello. Marc A. Huyghens previously fronted the highly regarded Belgian indie band Venus.
As Joy, his new project began to take shape, he came across the biography of Jean Patou who, at the height of the Great Depression created the most expensive perfume in the world blending the essential oils of over 100 flowers. Its name? Joy. Taking the name and extraordinary story as inspiration, the band conjure up a somewhat darker scent – intense and powerful in its simplicity their music evokes the baroque with a dreamlike and at times cinematic quality.