Dr. Joy is a collaboration between Canadian odyssey, Mr. Joy, once of Toronto but now dotted around parts of North America, and Toronto’s cosmic crooning space cowboy, Matthew “Doc” Dunn (The Cosmic Range, Transcendental Rodeo, and backing band member of Meg Remy’s U.S. Girls).
Their self-titled debut is the perfect comedown/sunny morning record.
Mr. Joy, who also run their own label Blob Records, have had a busy year, releasing the Yes! Yes! Yes! EP, while band member and producer, Asher Gould-Murtagh released his And Friends EP and latest single, Goodbye Francine. Each release dotted throughout the psychedelic patchwork which has been put through the tumble drier, smelling more of Comfort and less like Daz.
With sound sketches seemingly from another world, Weeping Façade is a museum of ideas. A meandering, lo-fi sprawl of ambience and psychedelia containing a plethora of sounds that beneath the mix.
No Deal is a washed-out country ballad with subtle steel guitar and open-field rhythms that chase the sun. Wide Eye follows and is a marriage of the old and new worlds of country. So inventive, it may just be the new outlaw country, however if you think along the lines of Suss you’ll be slightly closer to the mark.
With Gould-Murtagh’s aforementioned cut, Goodbye Francine, we suggested it’s what the Animal Collective should be doing these days. Here on Wide Eye, those ideas are expanded beautifully.
The Normals is like slow-motion early ’Floyd, with Dr. Joy occupying the fissures of a mind-haunted Syd Barrett. So, too Pale Satin, which unfurls into synth-based psych splendour.
The tourism of sound continues with Signed, The Body Electric and Midtown; tangled reinterpretations of the Talking Heads Remain in Light-era. Whether this works or not is questionable, but with the preceding tracks so beautifully assured and undoubtedly mind-bending, we’re too far down the road to ask such questions.
River Story ends this elusively wild journey; a space-laden composition that we’re be accustomed to someone like Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance being responsible for.
It ends the record as strong as it starts, culminating in a lovely collaboration between Dunn and Mr. Joy. Two projects that light up the forgotten corners of the earth. It’s a marriage that made a lot of sense on paper and even more with the finished product.
We very much hope this is just the start.
Dr. Joy is out now via Idèe Fix Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.