After five years of almost constant touring, The Joy Formidable finally took time off the road.
So when the Welsh alternative-rock band stops Friday, Nov. 20, at Visalia’s Cellar Door, it will be a rare live performance, one of a few non-festival club shows the band has done this year.
“We’ve just been writing a hell of a lot,” says the band’s bassist Rhydian Dafydd, on a long-distance phone call from London where he’s working on the final mixes for the band’s third album, which will be released next year.
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The band, Dafydd, plus singer/guitarist Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan and drummer Matthew James Thomas, actually wrote enough material for three new records, he says. It also recorded and released a series of odd cover tunes, a track for the Welsh Rock of Refugees compilation and started a record club that has put out limited-run Welsh-language singles every couple of months for the past year.
“We’re championing what’s going on here in Wales,” Dafydd says.
The Joy Formidable started in Wales in 2007 before relocating to London, where the trio gained popularity for its noisy rock music, which borrows heavily from shoegaze and post-punk genres. The band earned several high-profile festival appearances (Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds) and an opening spot on tour with the Foo Fighters. In 2011, it released its debut album “The Big Roar” on the Atlantic Records offshoot Canvasback Music and had a song (“Endtapes”) featured on the “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” soundtrack.
We’ve never been short on songs or ideas.
Rhydian Dafydd, The Joy Formidable
The band’s follow-up album “Wolf’s Law” was released in 2012.
The third album came about during a time of transition, Dayfdd says. The band had changed its management and record label and was looking to decompress.
“We never really stopped. For five years,” he says. “We just wanted it to be the three of us in a room again.”
So, the band built its own studio, called the The Red Brick, in northern Wales and set out to document the moment, Dayfdd says.
The result is the band’s most percussive work, he says, and perhaps its most dynamic. There is Spanish influence on the record, and some folksy moments and bluesy elements that might be new to longtime fans. But the music highlights the lyrics, Dayfdd says.
He won’t say how much of the new material has made it into the band’s live set, yet. The band will play new songs when they stop in Visalia, plus older songs that aren’t on any of their albums and stuff they’ve never played live before.
“There’s just a lot of material there to play around with,” Dayfdd says.
The Joy Formidable
- 9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, with the Moth & The Flame
- Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St., Visalia
- Tickets: $20, $18 in advance
- 559-636-9463, www.snvfoundation.org