9 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After a tasty appetizer — their “Popinjay” single — the Joy Formidable deliver the goods with their first main course, A Balloon Called Moaning. Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan sings in a sweetly crisp tone, eschewing the reverb-heavy style of so many au courant female indie-poppers; her sometimes multi-tracked vocals strike a sing-along chord, riding atop immense, energetic guitars. The Welsh trio has a knack for balancing a pop sensibility with hard-driving rock textures; songs like “The Last Drop” and “Austere” feel like huge, tidal waves of guitar ebbing and flowing on what are essentially bouncy pop rhythms. Early U.K. singles “Cradle” and “Whirring” (both bedroom recorded, as was “Austere”) are powerhouse jolts of shoegaze-influenced pop, with Bryan’s chirp and trill glistening through the dense layers. A Balloon Called Moaning is fun, catchy and surprisingly substantial in its relative brevity, making the Joy Formidable a band to watch.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After a tasty appetizer — their “Popinjay” single — the Joy Formidable deliver the goods with their first main course, A Balloon Called Moaning. Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan sings in a sweetly crisp tone, eschewing the reverb-heavy style of so many au courant female indie-poppers; her sometimes multi-tracked vocals strike a sing-along chord, riding atop immense, energetic guitars. The Welsh trio has a knack for balancing a pop sensibility with hard-driving rock textures; songs like “The Last Drop” and “Austere” feel like huge, tidal waves of guitar ebbing and flowing on what are essentially bouncy pop rhythms. Early U.K. singles “Cradle” and “Whirring” (both bedroom recorded, as was “Austere”) are powerhouse jolts of shoegaze-influenced pop, with Bryan’s chirp and trill glistening through the dense layers. A Balloon Called Moaning is fun, catchy and surprisingly substantial in its relative brevity, making the Joy Formidable a band to watch.

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