Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning

Last month we checked in with welsh indie heroes The Joy Formidable. This week sees the release of their debut mini album A Balloon Called Moaning. Released via the sexiest record shop / gallery in London, Pure Groove, as a limited edition box set of 500, it sold out purely on pre-orders. Fear not however lovers of scuzz indie guitar trios, because you can download a free copy of most of the album with the bands full consent here and a new version of the CD will be released soon. Breaking More Waves considers itself rather lucky to have obtained copy #391 of the box set, together with a black balloon with the word ‘Moaning’ emblazoned across it.

The CD is a snapshot of the beginnings of the band. From their early demos recorded in North Wales, which the group have described as “playful and experimental; lengthy, intense sessions punctuated only by tea breaks and long walks in the Clwydian hills,” through to their escape eastwards, where they recorded in an attic room in south London. It is an energetic romp of power pop, with surging guitars and distant female vocals with a paper cut edge. There are moments when you can hear moments of early nineties Curve circa Coast is Clear on the dense transcendental shoe gazing song The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade , the fizz and stomp of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Austere, and elements of Belly, The Breeders and Lush cascading through the mix. Not every song on the album is fuzzy rampant pop however. Ostrich is a big lumbering noisy monster, a dense rocked up shoe gazer, whilst 9669 is a musically simplistic yet thoughtful duet between lead singer Ritzy and her partner Rhydian.

A Balloon Called Moaning is a sharp shotgun of 8 songs that should satisfy even the most ardent fan of the genre.

It finally feels like 2009 is coming alive. Do yourself a favour and download these songs for free, and then invest something back in the band by catching them out on tour with The Howling Bells across the UK now, or at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton.

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