The Joy Formidable Bring Their New Album, ‘Hitch,’ and Alt Sound from Wales to US with Tour

Joy Formidable photo Donna Balancia
Joy Formidable photo Donna Balancia
Joy Formidable photo Donna Balancia
Joy Formidable – Photo Donna Balancia

Welsh Invasion?’

By DONNA BALANCIA – The Joy Formidable is set to take the U.S. by storm, with a new album, Hitch. This Welsh threesome is a group worthy of some serious listening.

Their new album, Hitch, is a slight departure from previous releases, but is beautifully balanced between big alternative sound and balladeering.

The Joy Formidable — comprised of lead singer and lead guitarist, Ritzy, bassist Rhydian and drummer Matt — will play dates in Nashville, Pennsylvania, New York, New Orleans, Florida, Dallas and Memphis before touring the U.K. They return for Bottle Rock in Napa Valley and Lollapalooza.

Joy Formidable © 2016 Donna Balancia
Joy Formidable © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Joy Formidable has an alt-indie following, but with their third album it’s clear this is a group that can handle a wide range of genres. They brought humor and power to their fans at a recent show at the Roxy in Los Angeles.

Think Sonic Youth meets Midnight Oil via The Raspberries with driving beats.

Ritzy’s cooing voice in between songs had a rather soothing effect, much like your sarcastic Welsh grandmother — if you had one — lulling you off to a faraway land.  That’s where all niceties stop as she pulls the rug out from under you with great ripping guitar.  It doesn’t hurt that Ritzy’s cute and fun to watch, either.

Joy Formidable photo Donna Balancia
Joy Formidable perform acoustic version of The Brook from their new album Hitch, at The Roxy – photo © Donna Balancia

Rhydian gave a nice chat with the VIP meet and greeters at The Roxy prior the show, and to say that this band likes to mix it up with the audience is an understatement.  At one point Ritzy and Rhydian came off the stage and brought their unplugged acoustic guitars to the audience and gave what appeared to be an impromptu rendition of The Brook to the fans.

But we can’t say enough good things about one of the most talented and entertaining drummers we’ve seen in Matt.

He drives the threesome with beats akin to the late Keith Moon, as one concert-goer commented, and his showmanship is AOK as hair flies all over the place as he plays and connects to the audience smiles and winks.

The trio don’t exactly comprise a single-handed ‘Welsh Invasion’ but if they keep going on their path, they will definitely bring over the converts.