I’ve written quite a bit about Montreal-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jasamine White-Gluz over the course of the past handful of years. Gluz is the creative mastermind of the critically applauded JOVM mainstay act No Joy. Starting over a decade ago as a series of emailed riffs between White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, the project has been centered around White-Gluz’s restless experimentation — and since its formation, No Joy has gone through a number of different sonic permutations with subsequent albums showcasing her penchant for delay-saturated jangle, industrial distortion and sludgey drones over disco-like beats.
Back in 2018 White-Gluz collaborated with Spacemen’s 3 Pete Kember, (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) on a collaborative EP that saw her trading the guitars she had long been known for, for modular synths — with the effort’s material seemingly indebted to Kid A and Amnesiac-era Radiohead.
Slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Joyful Noise Recordings and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada, the Jorge Elbrecht-produced Motherhood is White-Gluz’s first No Joy full-length album in over five years. Reportedly, the album’s finds White-Gluz returning to the project’s early, DIY recording, shoegazer roots — but while continuing to expand upon her overall sonic palette with the incorporation of elements of trip-hop, trance and nu-metal-like power chords among others. Interestingly, some of the album’s sound was inspired by the Montreal-based JOVM mainstay’s tours with genre-divergent artists: while touring with Quicksand, No Joy picked up post-hardcore fans and ambient techno fans while touring with Baths. “As long as people are open minded about music, they can hear different things,” explains White-Gluz, “Maybe because there are a lot of layers.”
Earlier this year, I wrote about “Birthmark,” Motherhood’s first single. Centered around atmospheric synths, propulsive boom-bap beats, muscular percussion, shimmering blasts of guitars and a soaring hook, the song was a seamless and trippy synthesis of Brit Pop, shoegaze, trip-hop and house music. “Four,” the album’s latest single continues the album’s experimental bent a bit further: Centered around sizzling power chords, atmospheric electronics, wobbling synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an enormous hook, “Four” manages to recall Amoral-era Violens — but while possessing a mischievous, yet boldly feminine energy.
Directed by Jodi Heartz, the recently released video for “Four: follows Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) visual artist Ashley Diabo at her home in Kahnawake, Quebec. Diablo’s primary medium is makeup — and her work is deeply inspired by her home, family, Pennywise and nature. She has worked with Dazed Magazine, King Kong Magazine and brands like SSENSE and trans model, actress, and activist, Hunter Schafter. Diabo’s life is seemingly that of a prototypical suburban young woman: we see her putting on the vibrantly colored make up, she wears through the video, playing with and caring for her dog and cat, goofing off and daydreaming and swimming in her pool. And she does all of this with an infectious and warm smile and a playful energy that is — well, simply put, endearing. I couldn’t help but like this young woman and I think you will too.
As White-Gluz explains, the aim of the Heartz-directed video was “to appreciate Ashley at home, hoping to inspire all to embrace the love and inspiration of their home, the way Ashley reminds us every day. She has a special gift to make the everyday more and better and magical.”