Comprised of primary songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, the Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based shogeaze duo No Joy can trace its origins to when White-Gluz, who was then living in Los Angeles began collaborating with the Montreal-based Lloyd via email — and their collaboration eventually lead to White-Gluz returning to Montreal, so that they could play their first show, with Husker Du’s Grant Hart. After that show, White-Gluz and Lloyd continued playing shows locally, including with another up-and-coming act Best Coast, who’s frontwoman Bethany Cosentino became an early champion of the duo.
The band quickly signed to renowned indie label Mexican Summer, who released their debut 7 inch single “No Summer”/”No Joy,” an effort that allowed them to book their own national headlining tour with Katy Goodman and her project, La Sera. The 7 inch quickly sold out, and by November 2010, the duo released their full-length debut Ghost Blonde to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork, AllMusic.com, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, The Guardian and others. Building upon a growing profile, the duo released the “Hawaii” 7 inch in the UK, a release that featured a remix of “Indigo Child” done by Stereolab‘s Time Gane — and unsurprisingly, the members of No Joy toured the UK with Surfer Blood, which was promptly followed with a London show opening for Wire, and an appearance at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival.
The rest of 2011 saw the band touring North America — and it included a busy SXSW appearance schedule, a tour with Vivian Girls and a co-headlining tour with Marnie Stern with whom they released a split single, which featured No Joy’s cover of the Shangri-La’s “He Cried.”
Since then, the band has released 2012’s Negaverse EP and Wait to Pleasure, 2013’s Pastel and Pass Out EP, 2015’s More Faithful, 2016’s Drool Sucker, the first of a planned series of EPs and last year’s Creep, which was released through the band’s new label Grey Market Records. Interestingly, 2018 founds No Joy’s primary songwriter and founding member Jasamine White-Gluze collaborating with Pete Kember, a.k.a. Sonic Boom. who’s best known for his work with Spacemen 3, Spectrum and E.A.R. And although White-Gluz and Kember can’t accurately remember how they met, what the duo does recall that they first brought up the idea of working together in an email exchange in 2015. At the time, No writJoy had just finishing touring to support their third, full-length effort More Faithful, one of their hardest efforts to date, and White-Gluz was eager to try new ideas and do something different. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” White-Gluz explains in press notes. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”
Initially, the collaboration began as a bit of exploration between two friends, who admired each other’s work with each one passing songs back and and forth with White-Gluz writing and producing songs in her hometown of Montreal and Kember writing, arranging and producing in Portugal. The end result was their collaborative EP together — four tracks that reportedly walk the tightrope between electronica, trip hop and experimental noise. As White-Gluz says in press notes, “I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”
The EP’s first single “Obsession” pairs White-Gluz’s ethereal vocals with layers of Giorgio Moroder meets Evil Heat-era Primal Scream -like undulating synths in an expansive song structure that allows the duo to display their uncanny ability to craft a mesmerizing, trance-like groove. The recently released video filmed by Nuno Jardim, featuring video synthesis by Sonic Boom ad starring Samantha Tyson manages to further emphasize the trippy and trance-like vibes of the song as it features wobbling visuals, neon bright colors, flashing lights and colors in the background and so on.
No Joy will be on tour with Baths throughout the Spring and it includes a 4/19/18 stop at Brooklyn’s newest venue, Elsewhere. Check out tour dates below.