No Joy, will return with its first full-length album in five years. Motherhood, will be released on August 21, via Joyful Noise/Hand Drawn Dracula. The lead single “Birthmark,” is out today along with a video directed by Jordan “Dr Cool” Minkoff and stars Diavion Nicolas, a dancer Jasamine found on Instagram, and a goat named Piquette.
Jasamine on the making of the video:
“We made this video while in quarantine. I filmed myself at home and asked my very talented friend Jordan to help build a world around the footage. Diavion had been dancing to No Joy on his instagram and I was a huge fan so reached out and asked him to choreograph a routine for this song. While in the studio, I wanted to keep the energy fun and throw any ideas at the wall. We ended up watching the video for Puff Puff Give by Hannah’s Field, pulled out some bongos, a broken clarinet, drank 12 bottles of sake and did group chants.”
Motherhood was made with Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast), he returns in his role as co-producer and multi-instrumentalist. The band’s touring sound engineer Madeleine Campbell, who authors the Women In Sound zine, came on as engineer alongside Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie). Drummer Jamie Thompson (Islands, Esmerine) translated rhythmic ideas into hard-hitting performance, and brought in drum machines of his own. Frenetic shredder Tara McLeod (Kittie) makes her No Joy recorded debut, contributing not only guitars but banjos. Somehow plastic clarinet, scrap metal, skits, bongos and an EMS Putney made the mix. Songs went from laptop demos to labyrinthine recordings, tracked primarily at fellow Montrealers Braids’ Studio Toute Garnie. White-Gluz laid down the vocals at home, which allowed for experimentation with ethereal harmonies and shrouded ad libs.
White-Gluz hadn’t read Sheila Heti’s Motherhood when she wrote and titled this record, but when she did, the narrative parallels between the two projects were “like looking into a mirror.” “Will I regret not opening my insides out?” she sings on “Primal Curse,” during which she reads an optimistic letter her mom wrote as a teenager to her future kids. “Time is critical, and you have to make decisions that are extremely time sensitive and your body doesn’t care,” she explains. “It’s a lot of seeing myself through my mother’s experiences, and the physicalness of a body getting older.” The album also investigates the implications of her parents’ aging on her role as their child, as on the DJ-scratching wah groover “Four.”
Heti’s book’s central conceit is an open-ended pondering of whether dedication to writing is more significant than the desire to have children. No Joy doesn’t definitively answer this existential quagmire, either–how could anyone? Instead, Motherhood is a beautifully dense exploration that proves how thoughtful, thorough music can translate into art that is rich, vast and alive.
Excerpt from Bio by Sadie Dupuis
(Joyful Noise / Hand Drawn Dracula)
Release Date: Aug. 21, 2020
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