The first thing I noticed when checking out the Facebook home page of newly-formed Brisbane pop rock outfit, Joy In Motion was the bright colours and happy, slightly cheesy grins. I thought to myself I’m going to be in for some light and airy pop music with washy, bright guitars complemented by some high-pitched harmonies, and, hopefully, a genuine sense of, well, joy. And I wasn’t too far off the mark.
Kicking off the five-track EP was a catchy little number by the name of Falling In. The song is awash with dreamy synths, jangling guitars and strong beats. The dual melodies from lead vocalist Jake Solway and guest singer Millie Tizzard were light and suitably sitting just above the rest of the music without overpowering the song.
The first thing that struck me instantly was how clean and clear the production was. A quick look at their bandcamp told me that a certain Declan White was the man behind the production, mixing and mastering. In my opinion, White did a phenomenal job in making sure every instrument was clearly heard and palatable without sounding like a cacophony of sound.
The rest of the short EP continues in the fashion set by the first track. The single See Your Face contains an infectious chorus pattern with some cool syncopation between drummer Carly Sinn and whoever was manning the keyboards in the studio. It’s unfortunately not listed anywhere who actually played keyboard and programmed the synth effects, but they are very well done and bring some nice texture to not only the single but to all of the songs contained.
The following song, Foolish Boy, is arguably the weakest track on the EP. Although it’s up-tempo, a little more rocking, quite bouncy and tailor-made for radio, it falls flat with the vocal delivery; resorting to the dreaded “Whoa oh oh.” An almost exclusive indie/hipster/emo/pop phrasing that seems to have infected creativity on a mass scale. Although the guitar work from Dylan Cottee is front and centre, sounding great and straight to the point, so not all is lost.
The next track, Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop, mellows out slightly in tempo and features some tasty, bass-driven verses courtesy of Patrick Heaton. The vocals are a slight bit too thin for my liking, but it’s still a really cool track and features an interesting little pop waltz that changes things up halfway through the track and continues throughout the remainder of the song.
The final track of the EP is cutely titled: Falling Out. Sounding like a B-side of a Thirty Seconds To Mars track with completely clean vocals, the song bops along with some stop-start drumming, synth loops, and repetitive gang vocals which will either grate on your nerves or make you sing along depending on your style.
Taken as a whole, Joy In Motion don’t exactly bring anything new to the table, but they play well; have a radio friendly vibe; and are obviously great at their craft. While they tend to lean a little too heavy on tried-and-true modern pop hooks, there’s a lot of potential for the group to evolve and really take on the world. A fun little debut with room for improvement.
“Falling Out” is out May 26th. Pre-order your copy via Joy In Motion’s official Bandcamp.