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New Single from The Joy Formidable

23 Aug

We’ve been fans of The Joy Formidable since first catching their blistering live act at SXSW in 2011. Through rundowns of their legendary Entry show and a compare & contrast of all the versions of their epic song “Whirring,” Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt have kept us enthralled with tunes that just get bigger with every listen. Under all that windswept, craggy landscape, though, there has always been a fine and delicate musicianship, which is the direction that the band has taken with their newest single, “Wolf’s Law.”

First off, let’s say this – the video is beautiful, and if you get choked up at the circle-of-life, BBC Earth, Baraka-esque kind of footage, then this is the video for you, which means it’s the video for us. Listening to the song without the gorgeous accompanying visuals (and you can get the download by signing up for The Joy Formidable’s e-mail list) is something of a mixed bag.

The sweet little piano line mirroring Ritzy’s vocals is a lovely introduction that highlights the fact that yes, Ritzy can sing, and not just give you goosebumps with her big roar. The buildup that starts at 1:09 with the pounding of the keys has a piano doing what the drums did for “Cradle,” but as the orchestral strings kick in, the production seems to muffle the individual parts in favor of a smoother all-around sound.

This is nothing new, of course – a band gets big, gets more to play with and comes out of the studio with a follow-up far more polished than the rough and endearing first offerings. If “Wolf’s Law” is an indicator of what’s to come, and there is a new record on the way, then expect more polished grandeur from the Welsh trio. We’re not worried too much about it, though, seeing as how they have a proclivity for destroying bass drums on stage and the first time we saw them, their amp caught fire, whatever they do live on stage with a piano will be just grand.

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