The Joy Formidable & White Noise Sound – ‘Aruthrol B’


Welsh indie-rockers The Joy Formidable continue their Singles Club ‘Aruthrol’; a series of limited edition vinyl releases that sees them sharing a double A side with a selection of artists from their homeland.

Aruthrol B, the second in the series, features the band’s latest single, ‘Tynnu Sylw’; a stunning six-plus minutes of cinematic, orchestral indie rock. Opening gently, the deftly intertwined layers of instrumentation unfurl with a silky sophistication to reveal Ritzy Bryan’s spectacular-as-ever vocals, sung in her native Welsh and topped off with a pretty epic guitar solo. ‘Tynnu Sylw’ feels very organic and natural, as it engulfs you in it’s moody brilliance. The ‘Aruthrol series’ seems to have reinvigorated the band, this is the sound of a band thoroughly enjoying what they are doing, and they’ve certainly got the bit between their teeth. That and of course it has provided them with an opportunity to shine a light on some of their Welsh compatriots. Speaking of which, joining on this occasion are Swansea drone rockers White Noise Sound and their single ‘Red Light’. Opening with some sawtooth-guitar, it expands into a sprawling mass of distorted riffs and effects with the hushed, whispery yet decidely no-nonsense vocals just about audible amid the emphatic din. Climaxing with a euphoric mix of reach-for-the-sky-guitars, brass and effects, it is a suitably epic companion to ‘Tynnu Sylw’. Another excelsior double a-side and long may this series continue.

Aruthrol B is out now (buy it here) and you can sample both tracks below. Also, The Joy Formidable have just announced that the third instalment, Aruthrol C, will be out this month featuring the excellent We Are Animal. One to definitely watch out for.


The Joy Formidable – ‘Yn Rhydiau’r Afon’

The Joy Formidable  Colorama ARUTHROLWelsh indie-rockers The Joy Formidable have unveiled their latest track ‘Yn Rhydiau’r Afon’, alongside their new Singles Club ‘Aruthrol’; a series of limited edition vinyl releases that will see them sharing a double A side with a collection of artists from their homeland.

Opening with a typically grandiose sounding solo, ‘Yn Rhydiau’r Afon’ dims to reveal Ritzy Bryan’s beautiful vocals, sung in her native Welsh, over a gentle picked acoustic guitar. A bass riff bubbles under and slowly the chorus builds toward an epic crescendo. taking us on a trip of supreme majesty harking back to the splendid rampaging guitar heroics of their debut, The Big Roar. This is a stunning return from one of Wales’ best exports and the good news is, this is the first in a series of monthly releases which prelude a forthcoming Welsh Language EP. 

Joining them on this inaugural release is fellow Welsh act Colorama, who revolve around the delectable talents of Carwyn Ellis. Ellis and his band’s inclusion, ‘Forget About Tomorrow, is an irresistible, playful and deliciously quirky psych pop certainly brings the sunshine. More on Colorama at a later date, been meaning to share their wonderfully charming sounds with you for a while now.

For now, check out ‘Yn Rhydiau’r Afon & ‘Forget About Tomorrow’ below. You can find all the details on how to pick up a copy of the 7″ here.

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The Joy Formidable – ‘Silent Treatment’

This week sees The Joy Formidable release a brand new four track EP, Silent Treatment. Included on the EP are the album original, new track ‘All This Promise’ and a live recording of ‘Tendons’, as well as a William Orbit rework of ‘Silent Treatment’.

‘Silent Treatment’ is one of the standouts from the Welsh Indie-rockers latest album Wolf’s Law, and having seen them live twice earlier in the year, it’s quiet exceptional live too. ‘Silent Treatment’ offers a more unfamiliar side to The Joy Formidable as the rampaging guitar heroics and emphatic wall of sound take a temporary back seat. That said, the passion and intensity remains the same on this delicate acoustic ballad, which also allows for a full appreciation of Ritzy Bryan’s wonderful vocals. The William Orbit rework of the track is excellent too, subtlety adding atmosphere and a sprinkle of synths to enhance the sheer intimacy and beauty of the original. 

The Joy Formidable’s Silent Treatment EP is out now and you can listen to the title track, and William Orbit’s rework below.

The Joy Formidable + We Are Animal :: Academy :: Dublin :: Sat Jan 26th

Two of Wales’ best acts right now, The Joy Formidable and We Are Animal, on the same bill for €15. You can’t go wrong, right? 

Okay, it is a bit late in the day but if you’re looking for something to do this weekend in Dublin, I can’t recommend this show highly enough. I got along to the Liverpool leg of the tour on Tuesday in The Kazimier and it was immense, simply immense. 

If you’re not familiar with the acts here’s a short explanation. The Joy Formidable? Soaring riffs and rampaging guitar heroics meet to form an emphatic and epic wall of sound; a masterclass in how indie-rock is supposed to sound. We Are Animal on the other hand are a curious bunch,  sometimes dark and trippy, buzzing guitars and distinctive vocals are set to a rhythmic groove. If Tuesday’s show in Liverpool is anything to go by, this shouldn’t be missed.

The Joy Formidable & We Are Animal play Belfast’s Limelight tonight & The Academy, Dublin, tomorrow night (Saturday). Doors 8pm/€15.

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Welsh Wizards | Mixtape

This is a quite odd post even by my standards. This day ten years ago I upped sticks and moved to Wales, Wrexham to be precise, which explains all the Wrexham related tweets for anyone who follows me on Twitter.

Although I’m back in Ireland a few years now, it was one of my smarter moves & I retain a fondness for Wales as a country and the music it produces (although I don’t get over half as much as I’d like these days). Welsh music features quite prominently on the blog, something regular visitors are probably aware of. Apart from anything else it got me thinking and I decided to knock together a mixtape/compilation of some Welsh favourites from the past few years, with one or two older tracks thrown in for good measure.

So, without further waffling, here it is, some mighty fine weekend listening. Diolch. Mwynhewch.

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The Joy Formidable – ‘Cholla’

Welsh Indie-rockers The Joy Formidable re-introduced themselves a few weeks back, after a tour and recording induced absence with ‘Wolf’s Law‘, a relatively somber, piano-led arrangement.

With the unveiling of ‘Wolf’s Law’ it was pondered whether the rampaging guitar heroics were to take a back seat, but ‘Cholla’ sees a return to the swirling guitar riffs that made their 2010 debut The Big Roar such a marvelous record. It is an electrifying track with recognizably big guitars and drums combining with Ritzy Bryan’s immense vocals to create an emphatic sound. It’s quite heavy on guitars even for them. The whole ‘Indie-rock’ thing has it’s many pitfalls but as usual The Joy Formidable provide  a masterclass in how it’s done. This is how indie-rock is supposed to sound!

Their new album Wolf’s Law is out in January of next year.

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The Joy Formidable – ‘Wolf’s Law’

The Joy Formidable have been busy touring and working on the follow-up to their marvelous 2010 debut The Big Roar.

Last week the Welsh rock trio decided to share the fruits of their labour, new track ‘Wolf’s Law’. The rampaging guitar heroics and emphatic wall of sound has taken a temporary back seat. A relatively somber, piano-led arrangement is preferred, which builds gradually to a climactic finale, enabling an appreciation of Ritzy Bryan’s wonderful breathy vocals. Excellent stuff but let’s hope they haven’t put the guitars away for good.

Whether or not ‘Wolf’s Law’ will actually appear on the album is unclear but you can download it for the small price of an email address here.

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Video: The Joy Formidable – A Heavy Abacus

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‘A Heavy Abacus’ is the latest single to be released The Joy Formidable‘s excellent debut album The Big Roar.

The single is pretty typical of the kind of epic and boisterous indie-rock anthems which litter their debut album, one of the finest of 2011. ‘A Heavy Abacus’ also demonstrates how great of a vocalist Ritzy actually is and it’s out on July 11th.

The Joy Formidable return to Ireland in October to play Dublin’s Whelan’s (16th) and Limelight in Belfast (18th).