In a material world, drummer Matt Thomas just needs some new threads.
Next Friday, The Joy Formidable releases its latest album, “Hitch,” featuring the single “The Last Thing on My Mind.” Formed in North Wales and now based in London, the alt-rock band will give Reno fans a sample of the freshly pressed material on Sunday with an 8 p.m. performance at the Cargo Concert Hall. Soft White Sixties will open the show and tickets are $15 or $17 at the door for those 18 and older.
The trio — Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan (lead vocals, guitars), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backup vocals) and Matthew Thomas (drums) — posted a Hitch-and-stiches messages to fans on Facebook: “It’s (out) on Spotify but do buy it from us at the website because artists get jack from Spotify while they make billions. And Matt needs some new pants!”
Something so polite about a Union Jack jab.
The Joy Formidable delivered “The Big Roar,” its debut album in 2011, followed by “Wolf’s Law” in 2013. By then, the across-the-pond musicians began to ponder:
“How do you voice your frustration with an ever-growing material world with so much focus on celebrity culture, the trend of simplifying and celebrating one dimensionality because it’s marketable?” Dafydd questions on Facebook.
“For us, it’s to demonstrate through our (music), our art, other things that are more important…”
What is hip? Dafydd offers: “To me, being ‘cool’ is not about pretending, not worrying about fitting in. As a band, we are not going to change ourselves for anyone. All our favorite artists are and were unique. They led the pack, they didn’t try to follow. Music is a discourse and we want to challenge people to get involved and invest, to react and feel. We want to be a catalyst.”
Alternative, yes. Pretenders, no.
The Joy Formidable will share the Cargo stage with The Soft White Sixties. Like their U.K. counterparts, The Sixties are not so much for material things. Members Octavio Genera (lead vocals, chief lyricist), Aaron Eisenberg (guitars, keyboards), Ryan Noble (bass) and Joey Bustos (drums), have spent much of the past five years living out of a 15-passenger van.
They were “traversing the country, whipping up new riffs and then, almost immediately, breaking them out onstage. For these hard-working musicians, it was a simple way of life,” their online bio explains.
But the band needed to step back and refocus. It hunkered down in a small East Nashville house to fine-tune its music, releasing a debut full-length album “Get It Right” in 2014. On Sunday night, The Sixities look forward to getting it right in Reno. Not in a material way, of course.