Already one of the UK's most vital live bands, The Joy Formidable unleash their debut album on 24th January 2011, following a year that has seen them move from tipped outsiders to band most likely to. Numerous festival appearances through the summer of 2010, including two incendiary slots at Reading and Leeds Festivals followed by a rampage across the country as headliners of the NME Radar Tour has had tongues wagging and seen lead singer Ritzy feted everywhere from the NME Cool List to The News Of The World's Fabulous Magazine as a pop star in waiting. Little wonder that NME observed in this year's Cool List that 'it's a safe bet that she'll soon be going supernova'.
Having invested everything into the band over the previous two years, self recording, mixing and releasing a string of singles, some of which appear on the album in radically altered and remixed form, The Joy Formidable can be said to have earned what appears to be this sudden rise to prominence. As with many success stories, the truth is somewhat different, the band having built a fanatical fanbase through sheer hard work and tenacity, finding ways to visit places as far flung as Australia and the USA without any outside support, in the process becoming the epitome of the modern band, self propelled and self financed. When their debut visit to the US and quickfire return caused a bidding war across US labels, their final deal with Canvasback was a alliance that allowed them to bring in Rich Costey to mix tracks for 'The Big Roar' rather than a beginning for the band.
The new deal suits them well. October's UK tour saw Ritzy command the stage and the crowd, NME noting how 'she struts and stalks the stage with grinning relish', encapsulating the sheer power of the lead singer's presence on stage and on this album. With Rich Costey's addition to the production team, the once familiar likes of coming single 'Austere' (released 10th Jan) and fan favourite 'Cradle' ripple with power and energy, 'Cradle' propelling you towards an ending that transcends genre, a blissed out white out noise fest parallel to album opener 'The Ever Changing Spectrum Of A Lie', a multi layered behemoth of a track that demonstrates how The Joy Formidable have formed a new loud / quiet dynamic for a new decade. In contrast, the spectral splendour of 'Buoy' and the intimate 'Llaw = Wall', featuring a lead vocal from Rhydian show a band supremely confident in demonstrating a wide emotional breadth this early in their careers.