As cathartically refreshing as the first day of spring (or even fall), Little Joy has written the soundtrack to some of your best nostalgic childhood memories; from your first taste of ice cream to your first love (and first heartbreak), to that unforgettable time you pushed all reservations aside to conquer your greatest feat or fear. This is an album for the masses.
Little Joy’s self-titled freshman album (released in 2008) is, in my opinion, without flaw. The L.A.-based band consists of Brazil’s own Rodrigo Amarante (of Los Hermanos), Fabrizio Moretti (drummer of The Strokes), and multi-instrumentalist Binki Shapiro. Together, this trio has created an album so undeniably sweet that, for myself and my friends, it was love at first listen.
There’s a strikingly impressive vintage undertone that cannot be ignored; in fact, my dad was sure that the music he was hearing was from an old Western movie he had seen four decades ago. Each song is delicately constructed to project a certain feeling; whether it’s gentle guitar picking, a soft shaker in one hand, a whispering tambourine in the other, softly-hummed background choral melodies and female lead vocals such as in the song “Unattainable”… or a more upbeat drum, poppy rock guitar, a funky bass and tambourine, and Rodrigo taking lead vocals in the song “Keep Me In Mind,” which always reminds me of one of those early 60s beach dance parties, gyrating hips and all.
One thing that has stood out to me about this album is that, although the songs are on the relatively shorter side, each song envelopes a completely different feel from the song preceding and ensuing (while still staying true to its genre as a whole), always leaving you wanting more. The lyrics are romantic, heart-wrenching, relatable and so sincere.
The chemistry of Little Joy is completely apparent. I can only hope that they won’t keep their fans waiting much longer for another beautifully constructed album.