No Joy’s relentless sonic permutations are evidence of frontperson and principal songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz’s insatiable desire to grow. For No Joy’s first full length in five years, White-Gluz took what she learned from synthesis, reincorporated guitars, and produced an album that is not a departure from No Joy’s early shoegaze, but a stylistically omnivorous expansion that ekes into trip hop, trance and nu-metal. Motherhood is the culmination of years composing outside of her comfort zone, and a return to DIY recording with a leveled-up expertise in production. Throughout the record there are loving nostalgic nods to the records White-Gluz adored on their release twenty years ago Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, No Doubt. 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. 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. 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
Recommended If You Like: Sneaker Pimps, Primal Scream, Slowdive, Massive Attack, Kate Bush. First No Joy LP since 2015’s More Faithful. Mastered by Heba Kadry.
Available on neon violet vinyl + comes with download code.