Day Joy wants to haunt your dreams when you’re awake


Go to Sleep, Mess

Day Joy

Release Date: Feb 12, 13

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Orlando may be the world of Disney and citrus and grandparents for many, but for Day Joy, it is their home. Calling themselves a genre of dream folk (and experimental), you wouldn’t exactly guess they share the same homeland as slap-happy Mickey, and to be honest I don’t think they’d want you to think anything close to that. With their debut album Go To Sleep, Mess, there is a penchant for wading out of your consciousness with their softcore tunes and overly-familiar crooning. But there is something that shows itself in a flicker of a lyric or strike of a chord here and there, something darker stirring within the album, within the lyrics, and it’s as strong a magnet as breakfast with Pooh.

To open, “Animal Noise” starts exactly as it sounds – some exaggerated and some subtleties giving way from zen jungle to resounding bass-filled melody. Percussion and echoes take over the space, making you forget any animals were around to begin with. Their self-labeled genre immediately makes an impression, lulling like a wave, but not with much zap.

To change things up, the band takes “Talks of Terror” into a methodically slow reverie of harmonized vocals and spaced-out instruments, from the singlet strings of a guitar to the far-off sounding drums. It is like listening to molasses while half-awake, the vocals slurring into the echoes around it. Half-way through though, a rebellious drive in the music starts to churn and show itself before fading away at the end.

The dream folk continues to build itself into something familiar to you, tropes of what folk images might represent, but the consistent echoes in Day Joy’s songs really make you want linger in bed, or crawl into a nap as the music plays. “Purple” is soft blanket of what Day Joy offers, a moment of muffled voices taking over the vocals as the music continues over, and it’s enough to conjure personal memories. The color purple might make me drowsy and/or melancholic from now on.

Melancholy comes into play later in the album, unexpectedly. “Splattered Like Me” is enough of a title to get you questioning, but the whir of opening rhythms on the track is enticing, like a dangerous thrill. It ends, to my dismay, but lets through a wallowing lyricism about the strangeness of life “from birth to grave,” singing of serrated blades. And on cue, the whir returns. While not quite as poignant as one might imagine splattering to be, it is like slow-motion calling nonetheless, beneath carefully sung vocal chords and stretching strings.

The album ends with its namesake. “Go To Sleep, Mess” almost feels like an inside joke at this point – of course I’m ready to sleep by now, but because I am satisfied. Some of the shortest lyrics, but in the most beautiful of poetic prose they offer, “I’m stealing looks with my eyes and I go to sleep a mess and I’m making loops with my mind and I go to sleep a mess.” I could take their advice and sleep now, finally, but after hearing this last song, only 4:19 long, I change my mind and stay up to take another listen, and another, to make the loops with my mind that I know so well.