By Connor Acres, First Year Physics and Philosophy
It can be a bizarre concept to try and measure the success of an artists work; awards and recognition seems to appear quite randomly. Momentum through good reviews, social media trends, Spotify playlists and awards seem to push artists into attention.
Many talented musicians will slip past the public eye just by chance. Equally, if someone is making art for the sake of success as opposed to the art itself, they’re missing the whole point of it.
Joyeria, is not that band. It is unapologetic in its delivery and blends across many genres. While it may be tempting to place their music under the current umbrella term post-punk, it stands separate to current bands walking that line by merging influences. Each song varies from jumbled energetic guitar riffs to slow wondering sombre melodies. The project is the brainchild of front-man Joy whose vocal delivery is malleable with the emotions he conveys: from screaming desperation to gentle lethargic spoken word.
When I originally started writing this article, I contacted Joy and asked a few questions to try and understand the angle Joy approaches creating his music from. His responses were so poetically worded I will often just interpolate his words throughout.
The EP currently released is FIM which stands for 'F*ck I Missed', a term which originally stems from gardening in which a seemingly messy and incorrect method yields a right result. There is a sardonic irony in a lot of the lyrics from "all the best Dads are secret smokers" to "Isn’t there anything to do here besides eat?". The voice of the lyrics points out the absurdity of the mechanisms we as humans live by. Joy wrote in response to this comment:
"Life is absurd, but there is comedy in that. The mechanisms (which I assume you mean financial, social, political etc… ) contain no comedy. It’s a bullfight, it’s a tragedy. Once in a while the bull gores the matador, but this is not meant to happen. It’s not designed to happen. If I can portray the comedy and tragedy honestly, then I have succeeded in creating the world for FIM."
The band stay purposely under rehearsed, allowing room for in the moment variations and additions. Every show is different. You will come away from a performance and sound utterly unique that will never be repeated, Joy stated it is intended to be "a performance rather than a regurgitation". For anyone who really enjoys the depth that music as an art form can offer Joyeria are a band that can offer that experience, painting a soundscape that all musicians contribute to individually, not just repeating a rehearsal note for note.
I recently saw them at Crofters' Rights in Bristol. Although a small venue, it was filled to the back. The band itself is comprised of session musicians who work on various projects; however, this project is not merely a function gig. The band enjoyed every song and the creative freedom they can have; the Wynton Marsalis quote sums this up stating that "Music is always for the listener, but the first listener is the musician". If the band themselves love playing the songs, it is a guarantee of enjoyable music.
It is hard to look for bands to compare them to in terms of performance style, a loose comparison of Joy’s style could be drawn to that of Ian Curtis of Joy Division in the sense that it feels as if he’s opening up through his music to the audience, at times almost lurching between the boundary of the stage and the pit.
Joy continues to write, and works on private projects once again proving this is a band who write for the sake of music not for the industry. Joyeria will be playing some festivals this year and will headline The Lexington in London on the 18th of May. While their recordings are incredible in their own right, it is really worth seeing the band perform live and I would urge anyone who is passionate about music to look for their next shows. This response from Joy catches this perfectly:
"The recordings are photos of time. Not to be recreated the same way twice. The architecture of my life. I want the writing to be honest. Hemmingway said “there are many mysteries, but incompetence is not one of them… literature by the injection of a false epic quality… all bad writers are in love with this”. The job is not to say the same thing someone else said in a new way. The ambition is to add to the canon of human thought. This is an impossible task, the least I can do is be honest while I miss."
Featured Image: Alex Evans
Are you going to listen to Joyeria? Which artists are on the rise in your world?