Today, The Joy Formidable release their highly-anticipated fourth album, AAARTH . Recorded in their mobile studio while travelling the world, the album has received critical acclaim from The A.V. Club , Consequence of Sound , Guitar World ,Paste , BBC's Radio 1, and Billboard , who dubbed the record, "art that is both evocative and earnest." The band recently wrapped a tour with the Foo Fighters and will depart on a North American tour in mid-October. AAARTH is available on a myriad of formats, including digital, CD,vinyl, and an extremely limited box set available exclusively through The Joy Formidable's AAA Music Club , a unique annual subscription that offers fan bonus items and access to 10 extra tracks; fans can purchase the album today at the band's website , Amazon , Spotify , and Apple Music .
The Joy Formidable is comprised of Ritzy Bryan (lead vocals, guitars), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals) and Matt Thomas (drums, percussion). Formed in North Wales 10 years ago, each album they've released has been a joyful adventure and reflection of their fearless, creative discovery and self evolution. The critically-adored trio has always refused to be fenced in or fit
in - that restless and boundless artistic journey continues on their forthcoming album, an arresting and unapologetic tour de force that finds a band at its apex with no sign of getting comfortable.
AAARTH follows 2016's Hitch, which was critically-acclaimed by Pitchfork, The Guardian, Stereogum, L.A. Weekly, SPIN, and Clash . The forthcoming record 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. 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 withAAARTH ; 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."
The album came into being in their mobile recording studio as the band traveled the globe, evident in the music that intertwines the whispering hills of Wales with the otherworldly rainbow canyons of the Utah/Arizona border. Uniting the personal with the mythical and symbolic, Bryan says, "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."
That symbolism reveals itself in the album title, as well as the imaginative, bright cover art, designed by Fernando Chamarelli. Similarly, each track is meticulously weaved into the next, layers peeling to reveal a renewed and re-energized beast, AAARTH .
As the opening poem of the limited edition boxset reads:
"And as the day approached us,
We let go of our night clothes,
The Cicada took them back to the moon,
And our skins burnt Joyfully
Now we said,