Some things are just meant to be. Thus it was that Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd met at school and discovered their shared love of music. The pair, opinionated and deeply in love with the whole idea of being in a band, started to spend time at North Walian music mecca The Buckley Tivoli, gaining inspiration and experience from the procession of touring and local bands that took to the stage. With Ritzy’s parents enormous, exhaustive record collection delivering an encyclopaedic library of popular music in all its forms the die was cast. Nevertheless, in an otherwise provincial, sleepy setting, itchy feet and a fleeing were inevitable; Ritzy to Washington DC and Rhydian to Manchester, where they enjoyed separate but strangely parallel journeys as singer songwriters. It was a single phone call that reunited them, this time they would write and record together.
Back in North Wales a flurry of early recordings revealed a voice emerging; the beauty of their surroundings against the sadness of personal circumstances tugging conflictingly in their songs and selves. They decided to move, choosing London as their new home and a base for their live aspirations.
With Matt Thomas on drums, a conjoint surrealist and raw, forceful drummer, The Joy Formidable thrived on the live front. Soundscape layers spiked by the nakedness of a 3-piece, gargantuan, clamorous bass and guitars that come in waves laid down a musical bed on which Ritzy’s voice could seethe and coo in equal measure. Little wonder that early shows gained the band a well deserved reputation as a band you had to see, pushing The Joy Formidable into the public consciousness from the very beginning. With a sound that melds the huge expanses of their native Mold countryside to the hectic nature of their new domicile, The Joy Formidable create a music that is by turns sublime and gothic, punctuating passages of sheer beauty with shards of dissonance and anger, a new loud quiet dynamic for a new decade.
The move to London also determined a working ethos that survives to the present day. The band’s bedroom is a chrysalis that mutates daily from sleeping quarters, to studio, to workshop. It was here they recorded the singles Austere, Cradle and Whirring from their 8 track CD “A Balloon called Moaning" - a defiant release of optimism against their own heavy hearts - and it is here that new single, ‘Popinjay’ and the forthcoming debut album are being put together by the trio, independent of any outside influence.
Having sold out multiple UK tours throughout 2009 and taken to the road in this country in support of the likes of Editors, this self contained band, recording studio, label and design company in one has also made their mark across the globe, touring Europe with The Temper Trap and visiting the US with Passion Pit, where support dates were supplemented by their first two headline US shows, both sold out and the subject of high praise amongst the cognoscenti of New York City and the US music scene.
Now, The Joy Formidable return to home ground for their most extensive UK tour to date, including their largest ever show on these shores, at London’s Electric Ballroom. Already high on the list of bands to break through amongst those in the know in the first year of this new decade, The Joy Formidable continue to hold their futures firmly in their own hands. Like we say, some things are just meant to be.