Last Day Deaf is on fire today. Why? How about an exclusive album stream of power pop finest, Joy Cleaner and their today’s released ‘You’re So Jaded‘ on Jigsaw Records? In particular, fans of bands like Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices & The Lemonheads are here to stay. This gem is one of the bestest power pop/indie rock albums of 2019, thanx to Kyle, Joey & Justin…
Apart from the 10-track killer album, the trio was generous enough to provide us with a track-by-track synopsis for the exclusive. So, we won’t spoil the fan anymore, and will let the band speak about their art. Enjoy the ride!
I knew “I’ll See You at Home” would be the opening track pretty much as soon as I wrote it. With the quiet intro and the way it explodes into the verse, I never really considered another song for the position.
Much of what I wrote for this album was inspired by a breakup I went through right after we finished our first album about two and half years ago. This song in particular is about the month and a half following the breakup when I still lived with my ex, which I don’t recommend to anyone.
The Pink Lite intro riff happened during the first practice we had with Justin. I was playing Joey’s guitar and we jammed on that riff for a few minutes and quickly moved on to something else. I don’t think anyone thought much of that riff but one night I wrote down some notes during an acid trip, which became the lyrics, and figured out the rest of the song real quick.
This was the first song we wrote after the first album came out. The opening line, “Today is a holiday for no one but me,” came to me while I was driving to practice, because that day would have been the anniversary for me and my ex. I felt really pathetic dwelling on it, so of course I had to write a song about it, and we wrote pretty much all of it at practice that night.
The guitar solo in this song is probably my favorite part of the whole album. It just copies the vocal melody, but the twin lead gives me the same warm fuzzy feeling as when I’m listening to a great Weezer or Rozwell Kid song.
I wrote the lyrics for this one in about 10 minutes on a train to Brooklyn for a show. I had forgotten my glasses at home and got really drunk at the show but at some point that night I managed to record a melody on my phone and a couple days later wrote about 90% of the song in one sitting. Our friend Jake Rasor from Bronco II came by the studio to record the bass VI solo on the recording.
Kyle and I actually wrote the original version of this song more than five years ago for our old band Thee Trebleros. That was pretty much a joke band and most of the songs were garbage, but we always thought this one had a really strong melody and chord progression, so we decided to bring it back. It was originally titled “All the Way (Ta Deth)” and it was only about 1:20 long, so I rewrote the lyrics and added a second verse so that it would feel like a real song. I think we pulled it off.
This is the only song on the album we wrote together. We practiced this one for a couple months and Kyle wasn’t able to come up with lyrics besides the verse melody, so I offered my input. I ended up writing fragments of lines (which Kyle pieced together) and a melody for the pre-chorus/chorus.
This song has a summer time feel to me so I wanted to write happier lyrics but I ended up finding inspiration from a short-lived relationship I exhausted too much effort in. Kyle and I really only solidified the chorus lyrics during our last days in the studio.
Along with “Phlox,” this was one of the last songs written for the album. Justin and I wrote it together, and he definitely pushed me to get a little more adventurous with the chord choices and melodies.
Lyrically, this was one that I didn’t quite understand when I first wrote it, but I’ve come to realize that it’s about self-sabotage and how I seem to push myself into unpleasant situations for no good reason. I’m constantly striving for happiness and peace of mind, but my actions typically lead me down another road entirely.
I wanted to see if I could write a song in one sitting without thinking too much about it, because we were about to go into the studio and we still wanted to finish 2 more songs. I figured this would be a throwaway track that wouldn’t even make the album but I think we were all surprised by how nicely it came together in the studio.
This one was about a particularly bad night I had at a bar near my house. I ran into some people I didn’t want to see, got mildly assaulted in the bathroom – not a pleasant evening.
The title “Post-Neurotic” was inspired by Freud, who had a theory that the only way for a man to be truly free of neuroses was to be completely sexually satisfied (or at least that’s how I remember it, I’m not an expert). I would see all of these men at this bar and assume that they were “post-neurotic,” that they were somehow all mentally stable and happy and had their shit together. This is obviously not at all true, and I was kind of horrified by this completely delusional way that I compare myself to other men, particularly men I don’t even know.
This is one of a handful of songs that we’d had kicking around for a year or two and never really finished until Justin joined the band. The title and part of the chorus were inspired by a long explanation of the hypothetical megastructure Dyson Sphere that I read in a book about extraterrestrial intelligence.
After playing in numerous indie rock and punk bands together across North Jersey since 2009, guitarist Joey DeGroot and bassist Kyle Wilkerson formed Joy Cleaner in late 2015, almost as a challenge to themselves to take a more mature, accessible, and deliberate approach to songwriting. Following the release of their debut album on Jigsaw Records, 2017’s Total Hell, Joy Cleaner was praised for their strong hooks and full embrace of power pop songwriting, with many comparing their sound to Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices, and the Lemonheads. 2018 saw the addition of drummer Justin Grabosky, after which the band hit the road for several tours of the Northeast, Midwest, and South, including a stop at the 2018 Athens Popfest. The band spent spring 2019 in the studio with producer Josh Evensen of Where Is My Spaceship, recording their sophomore LP, which is slated for release in late 2019.