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
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.