The unlikely combination of Rockford, Illinois, and Ridgewood, New Jersey, has been made possible by a split release between two bands championing the so-called "emo revival." Joie De Vivre and Prawn both revel in understated melodies, jangly guitar chords and a pleasing sense of melancholy.
Similar to first(ish)-wave emo bands like Mineral and Cap’n Jazz, Rockford group Joie De Vivre offer three new tunes that are seeping with sincerity and sensitivity. “Good Morning Mr. Franklin” is particularly ethereal, bringing to mind the first few Sunny Day Real Estate albums played through a slacker, indie-rock filter. Their final song, “Fracture,” features a haunting keyboard line that hooks into your subconscious long after its four-plus minutes comes to a gothy, almost the Cure-like ending.
Jersey’s Prawn take the last two tracks on this five-song split and sound so similar to their counterparts it’s an almost seamless transition that’ll have you toggling to your iTunes to double check it’s a new band. Using a more repetitive, chanting vocal style, the shellfish-coined five-piece are also slightly more eclectic than Joie De Vivre. Employing a violin on one track and a trumpet on the next, their delicate indie rock/emo lends itself better to a full-length.
Both bands have previous releases, but with this split EP it’s easier to look ahead at what these two bands could bring us next. Hint: it’s good things.