Joywave’s Content is a uniquely successful mix of mystery featuring various sounds that all somehow work together in perfect harmony.
Scratch That: If you’re going to listen to anything off this album, pick these: ‘Content’, ’It’s a Trip’, ‘Going to a Place’, ‘Shutdown.’
Quick spin: I, like many others, first discovered Joywave when they were featured on Big Data’s ‘Dangerous’. Daniel Armbruster, Joywave’s lead singer, has such an incredible vocal range. Once I heard this song I dove into their debut album “How Do You Feel Now?” released in 2015 and was immediately hooked. I highly recommend listening if you have not already heard it – two of the most recognizable singles from the album are Tongues and Destruction. Tongues has a funky, dancy, electronic vibe, while Destruction, much like it’s name, has a sort of anger and drama that are really great to listen to when you’ve had a bad day (I’m not ashamed to say that when I’m stressed out at work I blast this song on my car ride home).
Joywave’s second full-length album ‘Content’ builds on the success of their first. What I really appreciate about this album is the wide variety of sounds. There is definitely heavy production, but it adds to the overall atmosphere of the album. Content’s main triumph is how perfectly woven together each song is through its sounds. There is a definite theme you can follow through that makes every sound make sense. Overall, Joywave’s sound is entirely their own. I can’t think of another band/artist that is similar to them, which is such a rarity in the music scene nowadays. And if you appreciate unique, and a little bit weird/freaky/mysterious/confusing, this album is for you. Honestly, music is more fun when it’s not straightforward.
Song by Song breakdown:
Content – When I first heard this song (specifically the first minute or so), I was wondering how this would be an album opener. On the second listen, I know why. This song is full of mystery and wonder. You’re not sure what you are in store for next, but this song is intriguing and simultaneously unsettling. And even though it’s unsettling, for some reason you just need to keep listening.
Shutdown – A much more carefree sound from the opener, this song is the kind you want to blast on a long drive with the windows down. I can vouch that this is a great song for just that since I did that on my way to work today. There’s an atmospheric quality to the song that makes it sound other worldly and allows you to really “shut it down, get carried away.”
It’s A Trip! – Their lead single, and one of my personal favorites, It’s a Trip! is such an interesting song. I don’t really know how else to describe it, but I have never heard anything like it. You just need to listen (and check out the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xfXcZSb8LE)
Rumors – Revisiting the unsettling sound from the opening track, Rumors is full of drama woven in its verses, with a sharp contrast in the chorus featuring floating harps in the background. Oddly, the harps are perfection and take this track to the next level.
Confidence – 47 seconds of Daniel, a piano, and background noises. Totally raw and different from the rest of the album.
Doubt – Probably the most classically alternative sounding song on the album, with a lot more focus on guitar, Daniel confesses his raw feelings, right after his confession on the “Confidence” interlude. A good song, but not one of my favorites on the album considering how many other interesting sounds Joywave has produced.
Going to a Place – I love this song. The sounds weave together to create a sort of dream-like psychedelic sound. Halfway through it’s as if you’re listening to something entirely different. The second half could easily pass for a Drake instrumental, but Daniel’s vocals keep the dream-like quality of the track going.
Little Lies You’re Told – Little Lies You’re Told is much more melodic, quite like Shutdown. This one is another song I want to drive around blasting in the car, belting the chorus to.
When You’re Bored – This track is the most dance-influenced of the album, and it works, even though it is in contrast to the album’s darker feel. It almost sounds like it comes from Two Door Cinema Club’s or The Postal Service’s strange cousin.
Thanks. Thanks for Coming – I can’t quite figure this song out, but I know I love it. I feel like they were going for an end of the album, end of a show conglomerate of sounds, followed by a minute and a half of chill vibes – perhaps reflecting how they feel after performing. Whatever they were going for (my idea is probably way off), I am into it.
Let’s Talk About Feelings – This is the perfect way to wrap up the album. It’s raw, emotional, stripped down, and helps to tie the album together. Usually I’m one to skip the slower songs on most albums, but this is one that I love.
Comment down below with your favorite track from the album!