Monday, March 25, 2013

Pitstop: Day Joy

Clearly there's something in the water down there in Florida. That's possible the only way to explain the sudden outpouring of new bands making invigoratingly creative new music like folky Orlando band Day Joy. While last year we were introduced to the masterful song craftsmanship of Hundred Waters and Levek, this year thanks to those fine folks over at Small Plates Records, we've been gifted with Day Joy and their debut full length Go To Sleep, Mess.

Similarly to other Florida bands who are suddenly making themselves known, Day Joy's greatest feat in taking something familiar and transforming it into something new and altogether unique without diminishing its relatability. Featuring the songwriting chops of Michael Serrin and Peter Michael Perceval III, Day Joy's songs are coated in lush textural atmospheric that elevate their melancholic folk into something more.  And while the lyrics are certainly in no need of face-lifts, steeping them in differing textures gives them a sort of freshness and distinctive impact regardless of how many times you hear them.

While Day Joy's debut album is most assuredly an absolutely breath of fresh air, what's more incredible is their live set. I had the opportunity to see them not once but twice in a row and each show managed to be different but filled with a similar and electrifying energy. When Day Joy took to the stage at Secret Mountains' record release show, they played with a vivaciousness that belied the lethargy of their song's themes and moods intending quite clearly to outdo their already endearingly good show the night before. A intent they no doubt achieved. Unhampered by technical issues and filled with a well-deserved air of confidence, I can say with 100% certainty that everyone who saw them that night left a fan. As well they should.

After seeing them live, the record, while amazing, doesn't do the band enough justice. Live, their sleepy songs invoke a strange sort of excitement as you watch the layers coalesce in real time. Cello, multiple guitars, synths, banjo - it was a musical smorgasbord where each timbre was utilized effectively to create just the right kind of coloring that made your heart ache, pang, and leap especially when paired with Serrin's unexpected, emotive and strangely fitting punky shouts. Live versus on record, Day Joy are almost like two different beasts yet enjoyable all the same. If you have the opportunity to see the Florida band live, I'd most certainly recommend it but a couple dozen spins of their album is worthy of the same rigging endorsement. Check out Day Joy, you'll be glad you did.

You can purchase the debut record Go To Sleep, Mess from Small Plates Records.

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