An Introduction to New Music: Joyce Manor

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For those who are looking for new and fun music, Joyce Manor is the perfect band.

Barry Johnson of Joyce Manor prepares to play the next song at the sold out show at Kilby Court. Photo by Eduardo Hernandez.

Barry Johnson of Joyce Manor prepares to play the next song at the sold out show at Kilby Court. Photo by Eduardo Hernandez.

Hailing from Torrance, California, Joyce Manor is a four-piece pop punk band formed in 2008. They are currently signed on to Epitaph Records, home to other great artists such as Weezer, The Offspring, The Mezingers, and many others. It is without a doubt Joyce Manor belongs on this record label.

Led by Barry Johnson, Joyce Manor is no band to sweep under the rug and forget about. With most songs standing at about two minutes, the fast-paced energy created is just enough to keep the listener hooked. Joyce Manor exhibits catchy lyrics that can be sung along to on car rides with friends or belted out in the shower all alone. Hitting themes of regret, awkward situations, love and loss, and simply growing up, Joyce Manor manipulates these topics in such a way that does not leave Barry Johnson vulnerable and makes it fun to listen to. These lyrics are structured in such a way that is relatable, catchy, and creates an exciting visual that has the listener looking through Mr. Johnson’s eyes. Snow College student, Andrew Bingham said, “I enjoy listening to Joyce Manor because the metaphors paint a picture of what they are trying to say in a creative way. Some of my favorite songs are Christmas Card, Falling in Love Again, Stairs, and Beach Community.”

Instrumentally, they create a fun and exhilarating energy that leaves the heart wanting more. The fast and melodic guitar strides will leave many listeners head-bopping and bouncing along to the rhythm of every song. Another Snow College Student, Karen Valdez, said, “I really like the guitars in their songs. Listening to Joyce Manor can turn a ‘whatever’ kind of day into an upbeat and fun day.” While Joyce Manor songs are relatively short compared to modern three to four-minute track standards, they still make room to put in shifts instrumentally. Altogether, the drums and guitars blend together in such a way that they complement each other.

Although the melodic vocals and rapid upbeat instrumentals illustrate a fun atmosphere, a further look at the lyrics sung reveal a sadder and confessional tone. “It made me think maybe human is not such a bad thing to be, I just laid there in protest. It’s such a stubborn reminder one perfect night’s not enough”. In this song, Constant Headache, Barry relays the message that all good things come to an end. These lyrics are drowned out by the upbeat instrumentals of the song, but are still there, begging to be heard.

Joyce Manor would fall perfectly into place of a fun college/high school indie movie as the background track during a good time. All around, Joyce Manor is a fun band to listen to and watch them experiment with new tracks and techniques. With four full length albums out, it is worth the time to check out any of their releases.

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