Album release: 'AAARTH' by The Joy Formidable
Release date: 28 September 2018
Label: Hassle Records
More info: Band website
Welsh rock trio The Joy Formidable are returning with yet another huge step forward, in the shape of upcoming fourth album 'AAARTH'. Propelled by their restlessness and curiosity, the band continue to sit at the forefront of inventive and aggressive guitar music, taking what can be done with the instrument to new levels with each album. Still commanding festival main stages around the world, and following a rapturous response to their sold-out UK live return at last week’s Robert Smith-curated Meltdown Festival, the band are now able to share full details of the album, along with brand new single 'The Wrong Side'. It was premiered on Radio 1 by Huw Stephens last night said "it's brilliant isn't it... a pleasure to bring you that this evening… I’m really looking forward to seeing them at Reading & Leeds.” Listen to the new single 'The Wrong Side'
'AAARTH' is released on September 28th on CD, download and LP, as well as an extremely limited boxset, Indie retail exclusive vinyl, and Rough Trade exclusive vinyl, which will be supported by in-stores at Nottingham, Bristol and London East. Pre-order the album here.
'The Wrong Side' follows recent single 'Dance of the Lotus' and is a lurching, hulking giant of a track that aligns and progresses all of the band’s best qualities – a crushing, intense rhythm, remarkably inventive, snaking guitar work, and a soaring vocal melody – pushing things forward on an album that promises to be their most vibrant and experimental yet. Lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan explains; “With life not always being that kind, you can either go down a really dark hole or you can smear yourself with colour and reverie and try to forget. That’s what we did with 'AAARTH'; we threw ourselves into this beautiful vivacious collage of experimentation, real meets unreal, and stopped giving a fuck about things that didn’t matter, and started caring more about the things that are worth your time.”
'AAARTH' marks a transformative, near-psychedelic rebirth that channels long-held anger, soundtracking a chaotic global period of injustice and division, setting it against a deeply poignant backdrop of personal experiences and healing. Although the album came into being as the band travelled the globe and recorded in their mobile recording studio, the music intertwines the whispering hills of Wales with the otherworldly rainbow canyons of the Utah / Arizona border. 'AAARTH' unites the personal with the mythical and symbolic, as Bryan continues; “We’ve definitely made a colourful, mystical collage with this record, partly because of our surroundings. Those multi-coloured sunsets & the primeval elements of nature in the Southwest – it’s emboldened our imaginations in the songwriting and the production. I love stories and seeing symbolism and meaning change with different cultures and interpretations. I see it in my lyrics, a lot of the imagery plays on being ambivalent because I’m often expressing a lot of things at once. That’s true of the title; it falls somewhere between a scream, an exaltation, a play on words, and then this motif of the bear (“arth” in Welsh) that spiritually represents strength, wisdom & healing.”
The Joy Formidable bring their unique, evolving and progressive live show to an already-sold-out show at The Lexington in London, followed by main stage appearances at Reading & Leeds Festivals, before they depart for the US and Canada – by personal invitation from Dave Grohl – as support to Foo Fighters.
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