New Jersey based softcore act Joyer bring to the world of underground music a low-key, lo-fi, longanimous organism called Peeled. This album was released on the 29th of June. Self described as ‘slowcore’, the brothers Nick and Shane Sullivan released their second album this year. Peeled is the sweetest syrup, an original lo-fi attempt. I spend a lot of time trawling through bandcamp, and have been doing it for a couple of years now, since Soundcloud became insufferable with all its knob fiddlers, its lazy, shiftless producers who are neither musicians nor artists. They tread the line between craftsperson and self promoting marketeer at best, opportunists more in line with mass production and utilitarian philosophy at worst. Surely, not all of them are that way. I’ve enjoyed a lot of electronic music on Soundcloud, but it’s important to dis them because something raw and real like Joyer is hard to come by. They deserve all the attention they can get, and for this reason (and band slike Joyer), I just like bandcamp so much more.
Joyer are minimalist in their approach, sitting somewhere between the tranquil vibe of Beach House and the constrained, slow meandering sound of Cigarettes After Sex. They claim that their work “recalls groups like Duster, Bedhead, and the Microphones.” Joyer are a little more than a rock band, however. They’re an art project. Patient aesthetes, who seek to hatch an ambience around their sound: all moody, all smoky melodies. The guitar tone recalls Ducktails, particularly in ‘pedal’ (ref. Headbanging in The Mirror). Without trying to pigenhole them, it’s possible to say that were their songs any slower and longer, they’d sit well in the post rock territory; it would be easy to compare them to acts like Explosions in The Sky, and everyone else who plays guitar music slow, calls it post-rock. It’s really a private joy, listening to this album, though one has to share its mood. Or at least have the propensity to be in that mind space. ‘Fork’ offers a totally immersive experience, picking up pace ‘peeled’ onwards. ‘Spunspunspun’ opens up with spiraling winds, and announces itself as a high point the album. It’s very easy to sound bad taking the risks it does (what seems like odd time, but perhaps isn’t), but it doesn’t, and that may well be because it stops short too soon. Suddenly, it dawns on the listener, that it’s time to start paying attention again. It’s the best song on this thing being a taste-breaker, because it’s asking you in, asking you in a second time. Inviting you to ‘Afraid’, and ‘Moths.’
Listen to them here.
Medha Singh is music editor at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and a researcher for The Raza Foundation. She functions as India Editor for The Charles River Journal, Boston. She is also part of the editorial collective at Freigeist Verlag, Berlin. Her first book of poems, Ecdysis was published by Poetrywala, Mumbai in 2017. She took her M.A. in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and studied at SciencesPo, Paris through an exchange program, as part of her interdisciplinary master’s degree. She has written variously on poetry, feminism and rock music. Her poems and interviews have appeared widely, in national and international journals. Her second book is forthcoming. She tweets at @medhawrites from within the eternal eye of the New Delhi summer.