JOYNER release EP
Proving that atmospheric music doesn’t have to be devoid of melody, JOYNER are redefining the parameters of post-rock on their new, modestly titled extended play JOYNER, available everywhere this May. But don’t let the title fool you; this four song introduction to their sound is aggressively ambitious in its depth of tonality and cultivation of reflective lyrics. I listened to their debut recording yesterday and was blown away at the quality of work I was presented with, especially for a rookie release. Much in the spirit of Cocteau Twins, JOYNER’S surrealism doesn’t just stir emotions and thoughts, it hypnotizes you and elevates you to a higher plain of consciousness.
Formed in California by siblings Torrey JOYNER and Summer JOYNER, their eponymous project evolved out of a lifetime of shared affection for the arts. Their style of approach employed on this four song EP is very postmodern, but lacking in the pretentiousness associated with modern use of the label. There’s a tight precision behind the soundboard controls on each track that allows for the duo’s melodies to be remarkably accessible, definitely making JOYNER ready for rotation on specialty radio. When I first listened to the record in its entirety, I was compelled to immediately play it over again and found a plethora of sounds and tones that I hadn’t noticed, or at least valued, the first time around. In its cohesiveness, JOYNER unfolds like a good novel, requiring a bit of additional inspection to really grasp the deeper narrative. I love finding additional treasures tucked away in tracks, and there are plenty of gems meticulously placed throughout this 16 minutes of sonic adventuring.
“Welcome to Your Life You’re a Star” was my favorite song on the EP, probably because it captures the basic essence of JOYNER’S sound into a very fun, ironic pop song. Describing the struggle and chaos of what coming up through L.A. really feels like, the authentic lyricism and velvet-soft vocals play perfectly against the folky guitar and brooding piano. Pop music has always demanded perfection from its singers, and Torrey and Summer overwhelming live up to that standard, creating harmonies that only sisters can yield. There’s a neo-psychedelic influence on JOYNER that is also unmistakable and very refreshing in this context with these particular rhythms. It doesn’t feel as stoney as traditional psych music, but it still has the ability to leave you feeling dazed and relaxed at the same time. The lone single from JOYNER is the epic “White Lights,” which uses a minimalistic, electro beat to create a burning rhythm hotter than a summer night. While deliberately (and brilliantly) understated, the song feels as sharp and dexterous as a full symphony orchestra, a glowing testament to its songwriters’ knack for clever arrangements.
I highly recommend that music enthusiasts, particularly of the indie persuasion, check out this band’s work and pick up a copy of their new EP when it drops next week. I have a feeling this is just the beginning for JOYNER and their exceptional blend of sounds.