After listening to wickedly lo-fi yet sunny sided pop tunes of Hello Joyce, one understands almost immediately that they must reside in a rather temperate climate. The four-piece band of guitarist Cameron Grant, vocalist/bassist Kyle D. Muti, keyboardist Nick Remy and drummer Anthony Szeltner, are in fact a product of the environs of sunny Tampa, Florida.
Hello Joyce has been a band for a little less than a year though they worked rather quickly to record their debut record Summer '15 Demo, which is five mellow and slow jangle pop songs with tinges of psychedelia provided by the hazy keyboards and finger walking bass riffs.
Summer '15 Demo opens with the spritely and lo-fi “Horrible Time.” It has a sort of lounge act hokey-ness to it but I took it to be the point of the song, which is pretty funny. Over a whirling organ driven melody Muti sings of a girl who he is in love with. Of course this theme is the theme of countless songs although Muti puts a different spin on the genre, neither pining nor screaming in anger about this sight, but instead he drolls nonchalantly, “I guess that I got bad luck/I saw her there with another guy last night/I hope they had a horrible time.”
On the next song “Peaches” he happily and confidently sings, “happier, happier/I know my baby's happier/without me in her life” over a jangle pop riff that speeds up and slows down as though someone has flipped the rpm switch on a record player.
“Dragging On” is a Mac Demarco meets the Beach Boys bit of lo-fi wonkiness that again showcases the sort of “we don’t give a shit about sound quality” idealism which Hello Joyce has set out to bestow on the listener from the very beginning. As one can guess this same lo-fi love song aesthetic continues on the final two tracks, the bristly surf pop induced “Bee Stings” and the slightly psychedelic ballad “Red Eyes” which closes out Summer ’15 Demo.
As a fan of the DIY lo-fi genre I respect the simplicity that Hello Joyce has applied to making their first record. Summer ’15 Demo is worthy of a listen and some of your time.
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