Concert Pick: The Joy Formidable @ Rock and Roll Hotel (11/29/19)

The Joy Formidable
The Joy Formidable (Photo Credit: Timothy Hiatt)


The Welsh indie rockers, The Joy Formidable, gloriously return to DC on November 29th at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

DC is the opening show for the US portion of their tour. They are touring for the 10th Anniversary of their debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning. I listened to this fairly often after it was released in 2008. They released an extended version of the album, that includes the same eight tracks, but with each song also sung in Welsh by Ritzy Bryan. Give it a spin, it’s entertaining.

The band from Wales delves into the depths of rock, post-punk and dream pop, comprised of Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan (vocals and guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass and vocals), and Matthew James Thomas (drums and percussion).

They have also released a fourth album last year called AAARTH (via Seradom). AAARTH means bear in Welsh (with an AAA emphasis), and is full of tracks that seemingly break from their typical sound, but always bring you back to a moment where you recognize it as a formidable song right in their wheelhouse.

“The Better Me” is a trippy, eccentric pop song, that no matter how hard you try, you still can’t help but like it.

“The Wrong Side” kicks off with Ritzy incanting about lost love (presumably), before she harmonizes amidst a driving bass and distorted guitars chords that sneak in and fly around frantically inside your brain.

Let it happen. You should definitely let your brain have access to their music, and see them live too if that’s a treat you haven’t yet afforded yourself.

Sometimes you write reviews to discover new bands and artists. Sometimes you write them for bands you really enjoy. Here’s one I always enjoy, I’ve seen them four times live already, including a year ago at the Black Cat.

Get your tickets here.

Tickets are $25. Doors open at the Rock and Roll Hotel at 7:30pm. Show at 8:30pm. Openers are Twen and Byrde.

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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