No Joy performs shoegaze pop

BY LAURA WILLIS | APRIL 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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A hammering of drums opens No Joy’s music video “Hawaii.” As layered voices and guitar parts begin to play, the camera settles on a small group of friends sitting on the back of a pickup truck.

They look longingly at the passing open fields as the vehicle continues to drive. The group soon gets out and runs toward a wooded area. The sound of guitars intensifies as they run faster. They begin to laugh, kiss, and smear thick mud on one another. With long flowing hair and peasant shirts, the scene resembles that of a 1960s music festival.

“We wanted it to look like a ’90s film by Larry Clark,” guitarist Jasamine White-Gluz said. “We wanted it to have a psychedelic feel.”

No Joy will perform its shoe-gaze pop melodies at 10 p.m. April 17 at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. Admission is $7.

The female-fronted band met by being a part of a small music community in Montréal.

In a city with a large French-speaking population, native English-speaking musicians were a rare find. In this scene, White-Gluz met Laura Lloyd, then 15 years old. The native of Victoria, British Columbia, was beginning to go through a rebellious phase, so she picked up the electric guitar. With each being involved with bands and regularly attending shows, the two women quickly clicked.

In 2009, White-Gluz wanted a change, so she moved to Los Angeles to get a feel for warmer weather. During her two-month stay, she kept in touch with Lloyd by e-mailing songs back and forth. One would create a melody on the computer program Garage Band, and the other would add demos to the recording.

The result was a sound that is often compared with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.

“It was a hybrid of really heavy music, but it still had this ’60s pop thing going on,” White-Gluz said.

Later that year, they joined drummer Garland Hastings and bassist Yannick Sarrasin to form No Joy. Mexican Summer, a record label known for working with Best Coast, heard the band’s songs through its MySpace page. In 2010, the band signed with the label and produced its first full-length album, Ghost Blonde.

No Joy carefully constructs its fuzzy distortion. Often times, 50 different recorded guitar tracks play with a range of vocal tones.

“We have a bad habit of not editing ourselves,” White-Gluz said. “There are piles and piles of sound, and it’s intricate to get to the bottom of it.”

In February, No Joy toured nationally with bands Best Coast and Wavves, followed by a 12-day tour in England with group Surfer Blood, then played Austin’s South by Southwest music festival in March.

The year has been a blur for the band members; they quickly moved from one place to the next, grabbing Starbucks coffee and Chipotle tacos when possible. What started out as an e-mail exchange became something more.

“I didn’t think it would ever be a band,” Lloyd said. “We shared ideas, and it was very natural and organic.”

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