>> Rochester, New York’s Joywave dropped their latest record last Friday (July, 28th 2017). The full length, Content, was largely inspired by singer Daniel Armbruster’s feelings towards releasing music and art in today’s day and age. It’s important to note that the album’s name is, in fact, the adjective “content;” something each listener will feel after finishing a run through.
This release contains a perfect pick as its first song to ropes listeners in. Content was the single on the album and is a deeply chaotic and back-and-forth mix. Its verses are simple and edgy, while its refrains come crashing down on the listener until the last one rings out into a loud silence before continuing on to the rest of the tracks. The song not only grabs attention, it sets the stage for the rest of the album, whose theme is not too far from that of the single itself. The record sways in and out of what seem to be trimmed down personal tunes to ultra-layered and pumped up grooves.
Deep lyrical content is another mentionable plus. Matched with consistently creative vocal melodies, each track seems to tell a story, or at the very least make the listener question their own views.
What brings it all home for this record though is its exhibition of talent; The production is eclectic and each musician shows that they haven’t lost their chops in the slightest since their last release and tour. The song Let’s Talk About Feelings is a perfect representation of both points. The mix contains a simple, albeit skillfully executed layer of casual conversation noise in moments while the rest of it is full of solemn piano and lounge bass.
The middle of the album seems to lose itself if listened to in order of tracks. There is about a four-song run just over halfway through the album whose vocal and instrumental mixes are quite similar and whose refrains become somewhat predictable. Within this section, the production was mostly fresh but repetitive and too familiar in certain moments.
Content is Joywave's most profound and thoughtful album to date. The band is clearly making big leaps and bounds, but they are staying humble with their sound in the most genuine way. This release is deep thought that knows how to stir the pot. Crisp production, clever mix, sheer creativity. 4.5/5 <<