“Bad Decisions”By Joyeria

Joyeria recently dropped his debut EP FIM via Speedy Wunderground. FIM is what happens when a Canadian spends his adult life patiently crafting his own path as a songwriter in London instead of following his heroes and peers in search of an assumed authenticity in Austin or Nashville. It’s what happens when a stubbornly solo artist finds a true collaborator in a producer like Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey. It’s what happens after a songwriter has worked hard for a long time in the dark, looking for lightning in a bottle — and finds it.

Joyeria has quit bands when their buzz was the buzziest, he’s released music under names even devotees could never remember how to spell and has insisted on building his backstory entirely with gaps in the narrative. He’s a math-wiz, a chess player, a painter and Dad who smokes on the sly. Built like a hockey player, with a frame carved out by late nights and tour life – he is an imposing figure until you step into the presence of his gently voracious enthusiasm.

Joyeria’s FIM (EP) is a collection of songs about depression, society and a celebration of songwriting in a world that looks a lot less encouraging to be a songwriter than it did when Joyeria fell in love with the independent bands of the late 90’s. Which might be why it sounds fresh in the way a gem from an older sibling’s record collection does.

These recordings are also funny. Darkly and refreshingly funny in an era where self-deprecating comedy — from the mouth of a songwriter who can strut and swagger — too often comes across like a bet hedged against the confidence it takes to write songs with guts and brain cells. It is a breath of fresh air to hear genuine humility in the vocal agility of Joyeria, who has come to terms with the fact that slouching and posturing are equally favorable and forgivable techniques in the pursuit of getting the weight of life off one’s chest and into music.

Joyeria has the rare ability to speak lyrics without crossing the line into spoken word, and while his vocal stylings at times enhance the moody humor of a song, they steer clear of voice acting and persona grabbing. The coherent voice at the center of the FIM (EP) has clearly sung to packed houses at the top of his lungs and then kept singing when alone, through stretches of wondering whether his performing days were done.

It’s hard to grow up with grace in a music scene that romanticizes the tragic case. It’s tempting to grope after the example of the handful of songwriters who matured with dignity, or settle down to write a cozy record. This is where Joyeria’s EP takes a hard left.

track listing
Speedy Wunderground/PIAS

1. Wild Joy
2. Death
3. Colour Film
4. Performance Review
5. Decisions
6. 9 to 5

Order FIM by Joyeria HERE


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