The Joy Formidable offer unbridled delight

Taylor DeMulling, Associate Arcade Editor

The Joy Formidable is a fitting name for a band this unflinchingly ecstatic. Altar, the enormous main stage at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, threatened to swallow the Welsh trio up whole. Its upbeat and intense performance on Friday, however, conquered the stage with the magnitude of a much larger band.

Ritzy Bryan, the pixie-esque lead vocalist, bounced around the stage with vigor, stopping every so often to wave or blow a kiss to the crowd. “This Ladder Is Ours,” a hit from the band’s last album, “Wolf’s Law,” commanded the attention of the audience. Watching it live, it was hard to believe that the band spent the bulk of the past 12 months locked in its studio, The Red Brick in North Wales, working on its latest album.

Voodoo Fest, in fact, came as quite a relief for the band, offering the perfect opportunity for it to stretch its legs and return to the stage once again.

“We’ve never taken more than about two weeks off tour,” Bryan said. “So, to take 12 months off tour was a weird thing for us. So we’ve been looking forward to this show. It’s resonated with us in that sense.”

Their hard work is soon to pay off, as the album is set to be released in early 2016. Having seen it through every step of the process, the band is thankful to have produced an album that sounds exactly how it was envisioned.

“[It is] the most live-sounding album, you know?” bassist Rhydian Dafydd said. “It really captures that kind of chemistry live, if you like.”

The crowd at Voodoo was lucky enough to get a small preview of what is to come for the band, as The Joy Formidable played a new song called “Passerby” that, while not on the record, reflects the vibe the record encompasses.

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