Wales trio The Joy Formidable is the first band signed to Black Bell Records, the label founded by Passion Pit‘s Ayad Al Adhamy. The band’s debut release on Black Bell will be an 8-song EP titled A Balloon Called Moaning on May 4. The EP was recorded in the band’s home bedroom studio, and was entirely self-produced.
Of his roster’s first act, Ayad says that “The Joy Formidable grabbed my attention when I first heard the EP. The loud guitars, epic drums and dense textures with lush pop vocals and melodies just stood out from everything else I was listening to. Since then I’ve been an addict, and so has everyone I have shown this band to.”
The Joy Formidable was conceived by music-obsessed friends Ritzy Bryan and Rhyddian Dafydd when they were both students in Wales. After a brief hiatus during which Ritzy and Rhyddian went their separate ways, the pair reunited in Wales and began to develop their sound. They relocated to London, brought in drummer Matt Thomas, and got down to writing and recording a record.
The band was pushed into the public consciousness from the very beginning, gaining a reputation as a band you had to see. This was well-deserved, as the band thrived on the live front; clamorous bass and waves of guitars all lay a musical bed for Ritzy‘s evocative vocals. The band’s sound melds the huge expanses of its members’ native Welsh countryside with the hectic nature of their new London home. That sound has won them the praise of the NME in the UK. They have also enjoyed radio support overseas from BBC Radio 1 and 2, and NME Radio, and have done live sessions for MTV.
The Joy Formidable has sold out multiple UK tours throughout the past year and supported several standout bands including Passion Pit, Editors and The Temper Trap. UK shows with Passion Pit led to a show supporting that band at Terminal 5 in NY. In addition to the Terminal 5 show the band played two stateside headlining shows at Brooklyn’s Union Hall and New York City’s Pianos, both of which sold out. They have appeared at the Reading/Leeds Festivals in the UK. The Joy Formidable will tour the UK in the spring; US tour dates to come.