Kill Joy is, well, we’re not really sure actually, so let’s just say Kill Joy is the songwriter Kill Joy.
According to Facebook, “indie acoustic rock”, which isn’t a bad summation. Kill Joy’s music is lo-fi DIY-pop cut from the same cloth as Frankie Cosmos or Soccer Mommy, with a touch of the Margaret Glaspy thrown into the vocal mix.
Another question that’s not the easiest to answer, one site lists the hometown as Washington, DC, but we’re going to pick the official line of Bandcamp and declare Kill Joy from Auckland. Located on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, and home to some 1.6 million residents. Auckland had a well established Māori population long before the arrival of European residents, the city being popular for its fertile land and possessing ports on both costs. As the centre of much of the jobs and culture in New Zealand, Auckland has become one of the most expensive cities to live in on the planet, although a 2016 survey placed it as the third most liveable city in the world, so they’re obviously doing something right. As the biggest city in New Zealand, Auckland has perhaps unsurprisingly given the world some of the countries finest musicians, including personal favourites Tiny Ruins, new rock revolution also rans The D4, and of course Daniel Bedingfield (although interestingly not Natasha, who was born in Haywards Heath).
Kill Joy released their debut EP, Sex Comedy, last month.
Kill Joy is an artist right at the beginning of their musical journey, however on the three tracks that make up debut EP, Sex Comedy, they demonstrate someone who clearly understands the songwriting craft. With little more than an acoustic guitar and the most minimal of percussion, Kill Joy’s music conveys energy, emotion and plenty to be excited about.
From the energetic opening track, Valentine’s Day, to the more somber notes of, Not So Well and Sun, there’s a clever use of layering both in the guitar lines and the sometimes jaw-dropping vocal. With seemingly almost no effect on it at all, the various layers of vocals seem to be able to dance and play-off against one another; at times you could be in the presence of a choir, not just a solo artist alone in their bedroom.
It’s not just musically but lyrically that Kill Joy sounds considerably more experienced as a songwriter. Valentine’s Day is a self-deprecating tale of clinging onto a relationship that viewed from any angle doesn’t seem to be working out, “I’m too dumb to want anyone else, I go out looking for you. You can go, I’ll walk you out, I’m trying to run too soon.” The themes of clinging onto fading relations repeats in Not So Well, where you can see our protagonist growing tired of waiting for a clearer point of view, “if what you need when you’re trying to sleep is to hear me say ‘I’m yours’. If I stick around I can’t love anyone else, you’ve always got time on your side.” All in, this might be just three tracks, yet Sex Comedy is undeniably a very exciting debut release.
Not so much as a criticism, more a hope for the future. The three tracks that make up Sex Comedy, do seem to showcasing very similar styles. A little more experimentation, be that additional instrumentation or just exploration into a wider field of sound wouldn’t go amiss on future releases. With a start this promising, you wouldn’t bet against that being a hurdle that Kill Joy clears with ease.
Sex Comedy is out now. Click HERE for more information on Kill Joy.