Album #222: No Joy – Motherhood

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Montreal, Canada
  • Label: Joyful Noise
  • Best Track: Fish

Some brand new shoegaze today, with Canadians No Joy bringing out their fourth album, and their first in five years – now seemingly as a solo project.

It’s a bit of a mixed bag. I think it definitely suffers from being overworked in parts. I always believe that although the effects and production in this genre are often complex, the best songs within it are structurally very simple. Most My Bloody Valentine songs have almost nursery rhyme simplicity in melody, hence there are plenty of people on YouTube pulling off stripped-down acoustic covers of songs from Loveless.

Meanwhile, on Motherhood, we have tracks like ‘Four’ that interject vocal samples, babies cackling, dance melodies and a crashing outro, but all of it adds up to very little. There’s a real feeling of an artist trying to do a bit too much, almost as though Jasamine White-Gluz has spent five years tweaking and fiddling with the songs when they would’ve been better just knocked out without being pored over.

It’s a shame because the songs are elimentarily quite good. ‘Happy Bleeding’, despite its anguished name, glides along naturally and smoothly, while the Celtic lull and resonant backing guitars of ‘Signal Lights’ are a treat. Maybe best of all is the buzzing guitars and wailed vocals swirling their way through ‘Fish’.

So she can do it. I think she needs to just chill out a little next time and not make the songwriting process so laborious.

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