£22.99 – 1×12″ Limited Edition Vinyl
Joyeria’s FIM (EP) is what happens when a Canadian spends his adult life patiently crafting his own path as a songwriter in London instead of following his heroes and peers in search of an assumed authenticity in Austin or Nashville. It’s what happens when a stubbornly solo artist finds a true collaborator in a producer like Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey. It’s what happens after a songwriter has worked hard for a long time in the dark, looking for lighting in a bottle — and finds it.
So far, Joyeria has charted his career in invisible ink. Always a shape shifter, never a genre chaser. He’s quit bands when their buzz was the buzziest, he’s released music under names even devotees could never remember how to spell and has insisted on building his backstory entirely with gaps in the narrative. He’s a maths-wiz, a crack chess player, a painter and Dad who smokes on the sly. Built like a hockey player, with a frame carved out by late nights and tour life – he is an imposing figure until you step into the presence of his gently voracious enthusiasm.
Joyeria’s FIM (‘fuck, I missed!’) is a collection of songs about depression, society and a celebration of songwriting in a world that looks a lot less encouraging to be a songwriter in than it did when Joyeria fell in love with the independent bands of the late 90’s. Which might be why it sounds fresh in the way a gem from an older sibling’s record collection does.
One is reminded of a certain breed of accomplished songwriters in the lyrical wit and natural baritone of Joyeria. But Dan Carey’s exuberant production recaptures and reinvigorates the essential weirdness of what united the early phases of fellow off-beat masters — a buoyant taste for the strange. It’s the sound of two collaborators working fast, wild and free with years of experience under their belts and exacting standards.
Instead of conceiving middle-age as a personal apocalypse, instead of contriving a barbed authority and pointing fingers — Joyeria breaks ground in the calm devastation of the present he perceives. This is what makes the FIM (EP) a record of the moment, by a songwriter who has plied his craft for a long time to get here.
Over the course of six songs, a listener has room to luxuriate in electric confessions of fatigue, “Just let the dog eat from the table/ I lay in its spot catching some sleep.” And while the FIM (EP) never pretends to be positive and uplifting, it’s hard to shake the ecstatic thrill of Joyeria declaring: “There’s a wild joy I remember” — as if his voice is about to break its vessel. It’s too necessary a cry to be nostalgic. And if it sounds slightly insane, it is because it’s inspired.
1. Wild Joy
3. Colour Film
4. Performance Review
6. 9 to 5