I started my No Joy journey back in 2013 with the incredible Wait To Pleasure. It was a glorious beginning to a longstanding love affair with the Canadian shoegaze/post-punk/dream pop outfit fronted by Jasamine White-Gluz. From that I stepped back to Ghost Blonde and was floored by the sonic shift between those two records. No Joy were not a band wanting to sit in one sound comfortably forever. Things brightened, vocals got bigger, and the guitars got louder. But underneath the wall of noise there was an emphasis on a pop sound. 2015s More Faithful made good on that sonic shift between records, going deeper into a more polished sheen of noise. They were sounding less like Lush and My Bloody Valentine and more like Talk Talk. But there were still those amazing vocal harmonies. Besides the woozy guitars, those vocals were very much No Joy’s calling card. You heard White-Gluz’ vocals and you knew you were hearing No Joy.
On August 21st No Joy drop their fourth long player titled Motherhood, this time on Joyful Noise Recordings(their last three were released via Mexican Summer.) She worked closely with producer Jorge Elbrecht on Motherhood, performing and writing the record with him along with Tara McLeod(guitar, banjo) and additional vocals from Jasamine’s sister Alissa White-Gluz.
Jasamine White-Gluz’ collaboration with Sonic Boom seems to have followed her into Motherhood, as the electronic vibes are prominent on opening track “Birthmark”. It’s a glorious song, with massive percussion and ethereal vocals mixed with almost industrial-heavy guitars. The newest single, the pop-centric “Nothing Will Hurt” feels very much in the Wait To Pleasure/More Faithful camp, but with more emphasis on a disco-ish rhythm. This track will satiate the appetites of both post-punk angsters and dance floor shakers.
I love following a band and hearing their progression over albums. Though Ghost Blonde feels and sounds much more DIY/low key than where the band has ended up, you can still hear echoes of where Jasamine White-Gluz wanted to take her project. She’s succeeded and exceeded her band’s humble beginnings, expanding No Joy’s sonic palate while still staying true to those post-punk beginnings. I cannot wait for Motherhood on August 21st.
Check out the video for “Nothing Will Hurt” below, and preorder Motherhood here.