Indie rock up-and-comer Joywave to perform at Gasa Gasa

Joywaves New Orleans show will take place Sunday, Feb 25 at Gasa Gasa.

Photo Courtesy of Mary Ellen Matthews

Joywave’s New Orleans show will take place Sunday, Feb 25 at Gasa Gasa.

Few bands have achieved mainstream popularity as rapidly – or as inconspicuously – as indie rock outfit Joywave. Hailing from Rochester, New York, the band combines elements of rock, alternative, indie, pop and electronica to create a unique and eclectic sound. On Sunday, Feb. 25, Joywave will perform at New Orleans’ very own Gasa Gasa.

Joywave is one of those bands that everyone knows, but just doesn’t realize it. The band initially entered the mainstream with the 2013 smash hit and Big Data collab “Dangerous” — the song conquered rock and alternative radios the world over, eventually topping the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

Since then, the band has produced five more Top 25 alternative singles, propelling its spiral upwards ever further. Joywave released its debut album “How Do You Feel Now? in Spring 2015, which featured radio hits “Tongues” and “Somebody New”, and led to tours alongside bands like The Killers, Young the Giant, Bleachers and Cold War Kids.

In Summer 2017, Joywave released the critically-acclaimed “Content,” the band’s second full-length LP. Like its predecessor, the album has a distinct feel and aesthetic, embodying both the band’s trademark sarcasm and penchant for disguising deeply personal themes within upbeat choruses.

According to lead singer Daniel Armbruster, the album’s message lies in the duality reflected in its title – content the noun versus content the adjective.

When it comes to the messages they share through music, Joywave is deliberate both sonically and lyrically. In the album’s lead single “It’s a Trip!” Armbruster sings of the complex relationship between success and happiness, proclaiming that “When you’ve gotten what you want / Maybe I should start over / There’s nothing left to want.”

The band continues this theme across the album, masking it all the while in catchy choruses and playful hooks. In “Shutdown,” Armbruster muses that “the smartest folks are the saddest I know / So feel those feelings that you used to have / Feel those feelings again or at least pretend.”

While themes like these might seem a bit heavy for a rock band still establishing its foothold in modern music, they’re what truly set Joywave apart from its contemporaries. Between the band’s genre-bending hits, irresistible crossover appeal and enthusiastic live performances, it’s hardly a surprise how rapidly Joywave’s popularity has surged.

Joywave’s first opener this Sunday is Sasha Sloan, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. In addition to several well-received singles of her own, Sloan’s discography includes contributing vocals on tracks by some of the largest names in electronic music. Sloan appeared on the song “This Town” off Kygo’s “Stargazing – EP,” which also featured Selena Gomez and Ellie Goulding, as well as on tracks by ODESZA and Kaskade.

Sunday’s second act is KOPPS, an electro-pop group also from Rochester, New York. As far as alternative bands go, KOPPS is still largely under the radar — aside from the moderately successful 2015 single “Dumb” and Joywave collab “Tongues,” KOPPS has received relatively little mainstream attention.

Joywave, KOPPS, and Sasha Sloan are performing Sunday, Feb. 25 at Gasa Gasa. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

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