The long absence of so much during COVID has made us all appreciate the things we went without, the things we took for granted, back in the before-time. Such as Wales’ The Joy Formidable, who have been delivering great, pressing indie-rock for over a decade now (QRO live review of tenth anniversary of debut EP). They keep that up with the strong Into the Blue.
The band’s epic, can’t-believe-this-only-comes-from-a-three-piece sound is well-established by now, but that’s because they know how to do it right. The opener/lead single/title track (QRO review) manages to be both atmospheric and intimate in its slow, moving nature. There’s their more straightforward grand nature on the following “Chimes” & “Sevier”, but also higher sounds & emotions with “Back To Nothing”, and the ominous loss a-coming in “Bring It To the Front”. The band also experiments with quieter sounds on Blue, including the whispers-over-near-metal “Gotta Feed My Dog”, acoustic change-up “Somewhere New”, and the soft-build-into-big closer “Left Too Soon”.
The Joy Formidable aren’t radically changing their sound with Into the Blue, and don’t need to. They’re bringing back what they do best.