How a cabin in the woods shaped The Joy Formidable’s ‘Wolf’s Law’

The Joy Formidable are, from left, Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas. They play Music Hall Of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on April 17, Webster Hall in NYC on April 18, the House of Blues in Boston on April 19 and Union Transfer in Philly on April 20.
The Joy Formidable are, from left, Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas. 

Normally, a canceled gig is a big setback for a touring band. For The Joy Formidable, however, one particular ditched show turned into creative gold. Dial back to Thanksgiving 2011 and the British rock band’s U.S. tour for their debut, “The Big Roar,” was headed to Portland, Maine. But when venue abruptly closed, it led to the cancellation of what was the last show before a week off. What to do? Head home early for a rest, or travel further into deep Maine, to Casco? They chose the latter.

“We’d been writing on the road,” says singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan. “It’s difficult to track on buses and in hotel rooms. There’s only a certain amount of charm that having background noise brings to a record. … We were very excited by what we were writing and we needed time to reflect on it.”

So the trio chose a different type of lodging.

“We rented a cabin in the woods for a week,” says Bryan. “The cabin had such a great energy we decided to go back there in January to finish the record; to make sense of it all.”

Their stay didn’t turn into a horror movie. Instead, with no distractions — no wifi, no phone – Bryan and her bandmates, bassist Rhydian Dafydd and drummer Matt Thomas, found the perfect spot to craft their sophomore album, “Wolf’s Law.”

Isolation morphs into contemplation, giving the record contrast as emphatic orchestration and Bryan’s airy crystal voice tops driving, spiraling rock. Unusually, the title song is a hidden track, but in many ways, it’s the album’s most important. It was written in London, one of the first new songs after their debut: It’s the link between the nascent band and what is now a seasoned trio.

“‘Wolf’s Law’ was a big part of making this record, almost too big,” says Bryan. “We needed to include it, but we always felt that it belonged on its own because it was conceived almost as an art piece. It needs a space on its own.”

Serenity now!
Bryan recalls those three weeks in the dead of winter in Maine and laughs: “To the locals, it was quite a mild winter, which we were completely bewildered by. We were scooping up nine feet of snow in the backyard. But it was perfect. There’s an extra level of serenity that befell the cabin from having that much snow.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.