No Joy
Hand Drawn Dracula
Montréal, QC
RIYL: experimental shoegaze; A Sunny Day in Glasgow; being unsure

From projection to certainty, to questioning, to acceptance, back to indecision. The weight that others press onto a perceived biological imperative can and will cut deep into the strongest of resolves. Motherhood? What for? Hell no. Me? A mother? Maybe… in a couple of years. Never. Honestly? Maybe.

But Motherhood? Yes. No Joy’s ruminations on ageing, the expectations of others, and your own mutability swell on their first full-length since 2015. Jasamine White-Gluz, now a solo act under the No Joy moniker, melds the band’s well-loved indie-shoegaze roots with unexpected elements like trip hop breaks (“Four”), nu-metal freak-outs (“Happy Bleeding”), contrasting banjos (“Dream Rats”), and a well-timed slap bass or two. These surprises distinguish Motherhood from White-Gluz’s earlier efforts and combine with the album’s lyrical exploration as if to say, “I didn’t know this about myself, either.” And while No Joy’s stab at a concept album may not offer much in the way of answers, Motherhood provides a comforting soundtrack to these inevitable cycles of self-examination.

Katerina Stamadianos