Space Discovery: Joyeur
Welcome to our new Space Discovery!
Today we listened to LA-based singer Joyeur’s explosive debut album “How To Love Yourself and Not Destroy Everything”. The title itself suggests self-help and awakening, and that’s literally what this music is.
A troubled angel’s voice sings on these alternative indie pop and at times uniquely R&B and electro beats, filled with dreamy pluck synths, spacey pads, energetic kicks and snares, and other nice stuff I’m going to talk about.
I got thrown into the ‘80s and then swiftly brought back to 2022, and then back again to the ‘80s, with Joyeur’s playful, soothing voice, trills, riffs and runs – she’s got them all but never overindulges in virtuosities. Listening to this album feels like being in a bowl of water, metaphorically and literally, a little prisoner fish dreaming of the ocean soon after becoming aware of it.
How calming “Destroyer” is disorientates you and destroys your expectations. Things like “I’m a destroyer, in for the kill” are sung in the sweetest and most self-possessed tone, and then she starts making sounds, as if opening and shutting her mouth on the mic while bringing her cheeks together, all on a chill “summer afternoon” pop beat. I saw this as the song in which you let your shadow-self speak and have fun with it. It’s a dark confession made with the biggest composure, and allure.
“Swell” is the perfect jam for an aerobics lesson, an 80s synth-pop beat with the self-aware millennial lyrics, on which you find yourself throwing your legs up while venting out to your gym friends about your recent divorce, big smile on your face.
The sound in your ears really seems to be swelling by the minute, while whirring synths start playing in the background. The elegance, sweetness and charm with which Joyeur talks about not being able to afford therapy and how she sings on beat “laughing, crying, trauma-tising” is again beautifully disorientating, but this time I was more prepared. Sublime. Not to mention Joyeur’s incredible vocals and the way she plays with words and beats.
Ultraviolet Techno” is magical stars powder sprinkled in your ears, with its twinkly sounds and spacey pads. “Move it, make it, dream it, touch it” is a manifesting manifesto. This is the song where everything is already yours. Unforgettable is “Tongue Tied”, an electro R&B track which makes it hard not to move even slightly while singing to it. This album has hooks everywhere, but this song has one of the most memorable.
“Window Shopping” draws the curtains on this album with a lively bass, pacey rhythm, dreamy feel to it and Joyeur letting out how she’s been waiting for her life to begin, when she’ll be hustling every night in St. Tropez and all is gonna be so nice, although for now she just window shops for her life.
By now, you would have figured out this album is super groovy, but that’s not the only thing that makes it so good. “Window Shopping” was written during the pandemic and it represents what many of us probably envisioned at the time, with our expectations building up for when we would be free again. We all went through a period like this, when we kept planning and waiting for something big to come, the moment we’d start living life again. And as an artist, one lives like this all the time.
I hope the time comes soon for Joyeur to gift more listeners with her artistic expression, go St. Tropez with Lil Nas, as she dreams of, and enjoy her stardom, or whatever might make her feel like a star, cause she already is for us.
“How To Love Yourself and Not Destroy Everything” is not only the perfect title for this album but sums up the musical quality of it, the dark light-heartedness, the peace of self-awareness in its sounds and lyrics, with all that jolly, brutal honesty I personally love.