joy, make-believe, and cheesily-derived titles

Some fun songs have come my way recently. First, a band called The Joy Formidable (warning: link goes to Mice Pace). Little info on these folks, except that they’re British and enjoy both corroded textures and ambient space. “Austere” begins that way, with a single, high-pitched female vocal, but builds gradually through an interestingly twisty rhythmic pattern to a fuller sound with distorted bass. “While the Flies” places its guitar notes like puzzle pieces, overlaid with more of that bass and dueling vocal parts. I’m curious to hear more from this band.

Make Believe is yet another project involving Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Cap’n Jazz, Owls) – according to the band’s publicist, it’s the 58th recording he’s been on. Busy man. And indeed, “For Lauri Bird” plays a busy, buzzingly rapid riff against a spare backdrop, sounding rather like Zoot Horn Rollo practicing Philip Glass. “Just Green Enough” begins with a thorny guitar passage, eventually incorporating octave-doubled vocals and an electric piano, subtly building and then abruptly ending. I’m a bit more intrigued than actually interested – both tracks have the air of experiments or idea workshops and seem just slightly underdressed, but sometimes that openendedness can be a virtue.

The Joy Formidable “Austere” (self-release 2008)
The Joy Formidable “While the Flies” (self-release 2008)
Make Believe “For Lauri Bird” (Going to the Bone Church, 2008)
Make Believe “Just Green Enough” (Going to the Bone Church, 2008)

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