The Joy Formidable: The UK Buzz Band Pick Of The Hour

Jan 6th, 2009 // 14 Comments

I barely know whether to trust my instincts when it comes to whatever British act Radio 1 is going on and on about anymore, since I’ve been burned so many times before. Sure, it’s exciting to jump on the bandwagon when an act is on their second single, but then the album comes out or Pete Doherty joins the group onstage and it’s all ruined. Anyhow, in that seemingly never-ending sequence, we have the Welsh act known as the Joy Formidable. Who knows whether the enjoyment I’m deriving from the two songs after the jump will last, but for now, the band reminds me of a simpler time when Belly was a big deal.



The Joy Formidable [MySpace]
“Cradle” [YouTube]
“Austere” [YouTube]


  1. Maura Johnston

    “Cradle” is GREAT. It inspired me to use the “:D” emoticon many times today.

  2. moomintroll

    I too have been burned by my willingness to jump on the Radio 1 bandwagon. I listen to the top 40 with Fearne and Reg every Sunday while I tidy my apartment and it’s led me to many a questionable download. I’m talking about The Script…yeah, I know. It was good cleaning music, but on a repeated listen I was slightly ashamed.
    This band sounds pretty promising though, I agree with the Belly comparison and raise you an Echobelly!
    In other Radio 1 news, Zane Lowe is taking a break next week and the guest hosts sound quite interesting, Lily Allen, Damon Albarn, Razorlight.

  3. Ned Raggett

    @moomintroll: “interesting” and “Razorlight” are in far too close proximity.

  4. Maura Johnston

    both these songs are free downloads on


  5. moomintroll

    @Ned Raggett: Ha! I felt that. I only remembered those three though, and I wasn’t sure that Damon Albarn and Lily Allen really made a long enough list.

  6. exposition

    Reminds me of The Primitives

  7. MayhemintheHood

    I like her voice. It’s definitely got charm to it.

    The “UK buzz band” comments made me think of Nine Black Alps, and how I thought that from the one or two songs I’d heard from them, they’d conquer the world. Wrong.

  8. DocStrange

    @MayhemintheHood: I remember Nine Black Alps. The best they did was what, #25 on the UK Singles Chart? Well, at least they’re from Wales, which has spawned several great non-metal bands in the past few years (The Victorian English Gentlemans Club, Los Campesinos!…others I can’t remember right now).

    Also, remember a few years ago when everyone said that The Mooney Suzuki would be the biggest band ever? And how wrong everyone was?

  9. the rich girls are weeping

    Eh, there’s no shame in loving a disposable Radio One band. I mean, as long as you keep in mind that these bands are like … very delicate perennials that produce a beautiful blossom or two and fade into oblivion. So it has been, so it will always be.

    That being said, The Joy Formidable remind me a bit of … early Catatonia (another great Welsh band, IMHO), perhaps? I like.

  10. Maura Johnston

    @the rich girls are weeping: I loved Catatonia. That made me look up Cerys Matthews’ new stuff:


    Welsh torch songs??

  11. hndinglove

    “austere” is the jam. one of my favorite 2008 singles. i’ll see the primitives/echobelly/belly references, and raise you a darling buds.

  12. the rich girls are weeping

    @Maura Johnston: Don’t tell, but I still have my entire cache of Catatonia 7-inches and assorted vinyl. It’s all still soooo good.

    I think I tried to see Cerys solo at a SXSW (2005? 2006?) when she was attempting to do alt-country-ish stuff, but never made it. Apparently, she was pretty great, though, I heard.

  13. amyk

    Darling Buds! Crystal Clear was one of my theme songs through HS.

    Cerys will guest DJ on BBC6 quite often – she plays some interesting old school country and her speaking voice is unbelievably sexy-scratchy.

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