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Joywave's new EP is a step forward sonically


“Every Window is a Mirror,” released by Hollywood Records on June 25, is the new EP from Rochester’s own electro-pop darlings, Joywave. Written and recorded during quarantine, frontman Dan Armbruster wrote out the demos and sent them to the band remotely, before piecing it all together in the “Joycave,” aka Armbruster’s basement studio.

“The process itself was very different in that Paul (Brenner) and I were in the same room for three days and the other files were sent electronically,” Armbruster said in a press release. “Weirdly, this is our most live-sounding record, which is funny because 90 percent of it is one guy sitting downstairs.”

The new set of songs encapsulates the transition toward post-pandemic life and our collective future. And the band’s explorative soundscapes, filled with euphoric hooks and melodic synths, now carry an emphasis on Armbruster’s own psyche.

As a whole, “Every Window is a Mirror” is thirteen minutes of Armbruster streaming his consciousness in four breathless tracks that each carry their own distinct musical personalities.

The opener, “Pray for the Reboot,” glows with an ambient groove and scratchy guitar lines that perfectly compliment Armbruster’s dramatic vocals. The title track incorporates an infectious chorus that’s soaked in head-spinning electronics and samples.

The contemplative, relatable “After Coffee” draws on the band’s best qualities. Over a bass-driven shuffle, Armbruster sings a line that rings true and holds weight: “I’m too scared to jump.” The brooding closing track, “The Inversion,” melds delicious synths with crunching riffs and exhilarating beats.

With “Every Window is a Mirror,” Joywave sounds as fresh as ever. It’s astonishing to see how much the group has evolved, as they relentlessly traverse new sounds within the pop pantheon. The music is complex and dark, but in a charming and quirky way that's distinctly Joywave.

Joe Massaro is a freelance writer for CITY. Feedback on this article can be directed to [email protected].