Gallantly travelling on a journey of discovery with her art, Jasamine White-Gluz has never feared deviation or, more importantly, growth. Her Montreal-based project No Joy created their vision of distorted disco, but with the guitar having its name in lights a decade ago. In 2018, for her EP composed with Sonic Boom, this was left behind for a dedicated and authentic Electronica output. For her latest album in five years, Motherhood, released on August 21st, she has strived to discover a way to respect the early days while pairing it with the later and purer dance feel; stirred into her creative melting pot was the exploration of trip-hop, trance, and nu-metal.
A worthwhile moment on any path is the ability to look back and reflect on an old memory, with the realisation of why you fell in love in the first place. After years of composing out of her comfort zone, White-Glutz made a return to DIY recording, but this time, exuding all of the rich knowledge she had absorbed over the years. Working collaboratively and allowing oneself to be especially open to ideas, is part of No Joy’s charm. In-fact, plastic clarinet, scrap metal, skits, bongos, and an EMS Putney were attractive additions to the songs as they went from laptop demos to complex recordings, primarily at fellow Montrealers Braids’ Studio Toute Garnie.
Easing you into the collection of work is Birthmark, but this isn't a complete indicator of what is to come in the slightest. It steadily leads you to Nothing Will Hurt, using weighty synth appreciation for an earthier start. The song savours fooling you as it makes a playful shift to the funkier feel of the chorus; the ears are constantly unpicking tiers and appreciating harmonies that white witches could recreate stirring a marble-effect potion. The words provide imagery of nature telling us, ‘Brighter than all the sun, a tree inside of her ocean, nothing will ever hurt, you will fade until it does.’
Signal Lights employs the same quirk too with a softly approached beginning into some traditional bass and then a come down to an enchanting little instrumental, only to speed up again beaming more energy than ever. Highly Distorted number Ageless reflects on a nurturing role,"You used to fit in the palm of my hand', and possess a dominant piano riff while flirting with a pulsating retro drum machine; it's a poppier number. A traditional tune is to be discovered for slower Why Mothers Die wearing the ballad crown on the record, which is much needed to match the blue lyrics like ‘Someday Ill go out in the light.’
When devsising her sonic tales, there was an astronomical alignment: White-Gluz had not read Sheila Heti’s novel Motherhood when she wrote and titled this record, but both of their storytelling outpourings go hand and hand with each other, dealing with the sensitive and immense decision of whether to procreate or dedicate yourself to your cause, in this case, art. For instance, intimate track Primal Curse features a letter her mother wrote as a teenager to her future kids. A lullaby effect commences where, in the four minutes, we take off with a sweeping, sweet start until some unusual time signatures greet us. Building now, the song erupts into a rock section leading to a synthy end. It has echoing choirs of backing noise and words: an unusual winner.
Jasamine believes, “As long as people are open-minded about music, they can hear different things” I left this album feeling inquisitive and wondering if I had ever heard anything else like it before? Although Jasamine has professed her love for Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, and No Doubt, I get a little Enya, Kylie, Kate Bush, and more. The guitar work entwines seamlessly with the electronic, and running throughout tying it together is the ethereal backing singing. No Joy, like their peers Everything Everything, presents an artistic inventiveness, but also maintains musical integrity.
Article by Beverley Knight