No Joy formed in November 2009 when guitarist/vocalist Jasamine White-Gluz was living in Los Angeles and guitarist/vocalist Laura Lloyd was living in Montreal. The pair wrote songs as long-distance collaborators until White-Gluz moved to Montreal and they could play shows together. One of their first gigs was with Best Coast; when that band's Bethany Cosentino said that No Joy was "the best band ever" on her Twitter feed, buzz began forming around the group. The band's moody, interlocking guitars and ethereal vocals allowed them to fit on bills with acts as diverse as Wavves, Harvey Milk, and Besnard Lakes. Meanwhile, Best Coast's label Mexican Summer signed No Joy and issued their self-titled 7", which was produced by Miracle Fortress' Graham Van Pelt in 2010. The band expanded to a four-piece and enlisted the Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner to mix their first full-length album, Ghost Blonde, which was released in November 2010.
In 2012, a stopgap EP entitled Negaverse was issued while the group worked again with Wagner on the follow-up to their debut. Ultimately, however, they were unsatisfied with the results and shelved the sessions, opting instead to work with producer Jorge Elbrecht on what would become their 2013 sophomore release, Wait to Pleasure. For third album More Faithful, the bandmembers split their recording time between studios in Brooklyn and Costa Rica. Working again with Elbrecht behind the desk, No Joy dove headlong into their most intricate and reaching ideas thus far, incorporating expanded instrumentation and advanced studio trickery into their established shoegaze sound.
The band released two EPs (Drool Sucker and Creep) in 2016, then spent large chunks of 2017 touring. The next No Joy release was a collaboration with Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum fame. White-Gluz and Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom) began a correspondence in 2015 when the No Joy singer was looking to do something different musically. The two traded songs back and forth, eventually choosing four that White-Gluz had written with a full-band treatment in mind. Kember reshaped them into something more electronic and guitar-free, and the No Joy/Sonic Boom EP was issued in March 2018 by Joyful Noise.
In 2020, No Joy returned with fourth album Motherhood. On the first proper No Joy full-length in five years (and the first without Lloyd), White-Gluz experimented wildly with production and genre. The shoegaze template the band had built its discography on was expanded to include flirtations with nu metal, trip-hop grooves, and other wildly unexpected sound clashes. White-Gluz quickly followed Motherhood with 2021 companion EP Can My Daughter See Me from Heaven. The five-song set included dramatically reworked versions of tracks from Motherhood and a cover of the Deftones song "Teenager," with new arrangements that included French horn, cello, harp, and operatic vocals. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
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