The Joy Formidable: “A Heavy Abacus” (Live in Studio 1A)

Photo by Emma Martin

The Joy Formidable have been creating alt-rock brilliance for a decade, but their roots go even deeper. TJF is the risen phoenix from the ashes of Manchester outfit Sidecar Kisses, one that gave Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd the opportunity to return to North Wales and find a new trajectory for their sound. Now based out of London and filled-out with drummer Matt Thomas, the trio has released a healthy discography of albums; EPs; and sparkling, vinyl-only singles (sung in Welsh) with a new album on the way.

For this pick, they go back to their debut full-length, playing a deconstructed version of an old favorite. Even stripped-down, the Joy Formidable create a dark, starry atmosphere made simultaneously more haunting and mezmorizing by David’s vocals. Listening to it, you’d think it was a ballad written twenty years ago by Billy Corgan for Stevie Nicks.

“A Heavy Abacus” appears on The Big Roar, out now and available everywhere. Check out their full Studio 1A session here.

-Taylor Wallace

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