30th September | Rough Trade

Artfully-dramatic rock is what you’d consider to be the forte of The Joy Formidable. Their debut album, The Big Roar reached stratospheric heights, with tracks like ‘Austere’ and ‘The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade’ boasting expansive riffs and the breathy, emotive vocal of frontwoman Rhiannon Bryan. But it isn’t 2011 anymore; seven years on, the Welsh rock trio bring us their fourth record, Aaarth. At this stage, they can afford to experiment, so they have injected psychedelic flavour into their latest singles, ‘The Better You’ and ‘The Wrong Side.’ That experiment has paid off.

But their gig at Rough Trade in Bristol isn’t going to showcase those killer riffs and dizzying soundscapes they deliver time and time again. In this semi-acoustic set, The Joy Formidable will strip back the finest cuts from their discography, breathing new life into old favourites and giving us an intimate look into their latest album. For a band that have been discovering, album by album, more instruments that compliment their sound, it will be intriguing to see them tone it down to a smaller scale – especially after they recently supported Foo Fighters on their UK tour.

Coming to a smaller venue to premiere their experimental new record is a bold move, especially for those fans who love to hear guitars amped to the max. Yet The Joy Formidable carry with them a career built by thinking way beyond their genre, and the angsty emotional urgency they exert in their music makes them the perfect fit for Rough Trade on Sunday 30th.

See the video for ‘Dance of the Lotus’ here: