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

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…