Ah man No Joy is one of those bands that I’m always glad to see pop up in any release year. Ever since their debut LP of gauzy shoegaze baubles, they’ve been constantly reconfiguring the genre into crystallized clouds of sound. They’ve continued to move away from the outright obfuscation, and as begun on 2015’s More Faithful, this newest song is letting vocalist Jasamine White-Gluz’s voice stand front and center, proving that the wall of guitar texture is intriguing but she’s definitely the most formidable weapon in their arsenal. Though they stepped back from the ledge a bit with the Drool Sucker EP last year, exploring more of their noise side, they push in even further than More Faithful on the new cut. The song winds up hitting some aching dream pop notes while dropping much of the din far, far below them. Its not a seismic shift, but it reframes the band yet again, letting them feel familiar but never static.
The accompanying video, directed by Ben Clarkson, is a perfect barrage of pop-political imagery that feels like a Facebook timeline come alive to devour itself. Its a surrealist soak that’s disorienting as the swirling pop surrounding it. Seems like a great peak into yet another short form release from the band this year and a reminder that they’re still finding ways to surprise. “Califone” will appear on the EP Creep out in February.
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