JOY’s EP ‘Six’: A Review




JOY’s latest EP ‘Six’ is the perfect bundle of joy to set the mood for those cooler autumn months ahead.

Her fondness for music began experimenting with instruments and Ableton to escape the drudgery of homework but now this favoured past-time is a reality for 21 year old, Olivia McCarthy (stage name, JOY).

In 2014 at the age of 17, she performed at the Brisbane Laneway Festival after winning Triple J’s Unearthed Laneway Festival competition. It wasn’t long following her Laneway debut, that she released her first EP ‘ODE’ in 2015, which gained notable popularity on Australian iTunes.

Intertwining elements of electronic, indie and pop music to mould her sound, she is one proving to be a driving force in the fast-paced, ever-changing Australian music scene.

Released just this month, her latest EP ‘Six’ is the perfect bundle of songs to sail you smoothly into those cooler autumn months.

‘Fake It’ is nonchalant yet has this unforgiving boldness through the heavy-hitting bassline in the chorus and steady humming clicks. It’s airy, echoed nature creates a subtle sultry yet unsophisticated feel. Then around two minutes in, you get a euphoric hit of a rather mesmerisingly stunning electric guitar.

An irresistible yet modest rolling piano chord progression opens into ‘Smoke Too Much’. McCarthy’s vocals are not ‘powerful’, but are strong in their purity and lusty angelic nature. Overall, the track with its uncomplicated piano and interjecting warped vocals creates a sound which possesses a rather pleasing low-quality, lo-fi sensation. It’s quite clear this is a crowd-favourite, as the track has already accumulated over 3 million streams globally and even gained some noteworthy recognition from Beats 1 very own, Zane Lowe.

A more serious tone, ‘This Place (Interlude)’ stands out with its heavy piano, but fused alongside McCarthy’s softer vocals, balances the track  into something more subdued as the beat ticks away in the background like a clock. However, it’s not long before the interlude slowly fades into a pulsing echo of warped, distant vocals.

‘Need You’ possesses a rather alienating and detached sound, but when the beat kicks in this provides a comforting familiarity. The song is abundant with some of McCarthy’s very own angelic vocal harmonies adding vivid richness to the rather delicate instrumental.

Progressing into some musical clinks, chimes and clunks ‘Hooked (Interlude)’ boasts a very organic sound. This is reinvigorating to hear, particularly in a world dominated with manufactured,  perfected electronic sounds. There is something about that repetitive, mechanical yet natural feel about it that just hooks you in from start to finish.  ‘Change’ chimes in, this is a beautiful cycle of sound, propelled by a gentle piano and McCarthy’s rather introspective, emotional vocals singing, “I’m a fool for ya love, I’m afraid because you’ll never change”.

Closing with something a little more up-tempo, ‘Lose Control’ is just another beguiling spiralling tune incited by a guitar, up-tempo beat and snare combination producing a sound which at first, appears disconnected but feels connected.

Purchase JOY’s EP ‘Six’ here.

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