Whether you believe it or not, the age-old saying “opposites attract” could not be more true for Los Angeles synth-pop duo and married couple, Joy Downer. Consisting of Joy Bishop and Jeffrey Downer, their band name cleverly speaks to the irony of such aphorisms. It becomes apparent the deeper you dive into their debut EP Radio Dreamer that they wish to explore concepts which are continually at odds with each other: light and dark, man and woman, mind and matter.
Inspired by such dualities, their sound is pleasantly familiar, mixing saccharine production with a touch of melancholy that lingers on every word Bishop sings. The project’s first single ‘Caught In Your Spell‘ is about unrequited love and the unhealthy obsession that often goes along with it.
“Have you ever met someone that made you dance the fine line of being a stalker and letting that person know you’re interested?,” says Bishop in reference to the track. Despite the desperation conveyed in the lyrics, the song ends on a hopeful note, hardly able to contain the lush array of trumpets, strings, and twinkling synths by the final chorus. Jangling guitars and a super tight bassline lay the foundation on ‘Stranger Places,’ which is by far the most danceable tune on the record. With allusions to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, this isn’t your average pop song.
Coming right out of the gate with clear intentions, Joy Downer would rather tell both sides of the story than present a fairy tale version of life. They have a surprising level of clarity to their music, choosing to refrain from using effects to mask a lack of substance, a trap many new or inexperienced bands fall into. Leaving us with a debut as strong as Radio Dreamer is a very promising sign. So long as they keep the dream alive, I am confident they have a bright future ahead.
Stream Joy Downer’s ‘Caught In Your Spell’ below.
Can’t get enough of Joy Downer?
Let them take you away with another fantastic track! Click play on ‘Stranger Places’ below to kick off your listen to Joy Downer’s full album stream of Radio Dreamer.