New Music Discovery of the Week: Mt. Joy "Evergreen"

This week’s ALT 104.5 New Music Discovery Of The Week is Mt. Joy “Evergreen”

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Across various cultures and belief systems, the color orange symbolizes sunshine, creativity, heat, freedom, fascination, and fire. Mt. Joy channel this bright, bold, and brilliant energy on their 2022 third full-length offering, Orange Blood [Island Records]. The Philadelphia quintet—Matt Quinn [vocals, guitar], Sam Cooper [guitar], Sotris Eliopoulos [drums], Jackie Miclau [keys, piano], and Michael Byrnes [bass]—explore a sonic spectrum of eloquent folk daydreams, blissful guitar-propelled psychedelic rock, and artful alternative alchemy siphoned from sessions in the Southern California desert under a watchful sun. After amassing hundreds of millions of streams and earning widespread acclaim from NPR, The Line of Best Fit, and more, the group shine like never before. “I was definitely drawn to the color orange,” explains Matt. “When we were in the desert, everything revolved around the sun. I started playing with the idea that the light we see is this sort of orange blood that runs through all of us and gives life to everything it touches.” Mt. Joy have quietly and carefully evolved since forming back in 2016. Two years later, their self-titled debut, Mt. Joy, yielded “Silver Lining,” which eclipsed 104 million Spotify streams and counting. Anchored by favorites such as “Strangers,” Rearrange Us arrived to widespread critical applause during 2020. The Line of Best Fit praised it as “aiming for arena-highs,” while Atwood Magazine christened it “an ambitious triumph embracing their signature sound while plunging headfirst into the deep end of life.” Along the way, the group sold out hallowed venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre in addition to gracing the bills of festivals, including Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza, Made In America, and beyond. When the Global Pandemic upended their tour with The Lumineers, Matt and Sam retreated into the desert. Holing up in a house with Matt’s girlfriend and brother, shroom-fueled detours, late-night conversations about life, and a thirst for reprieve brought Orange Blood to life.“ Our last album was a breakup record,” notes Matt. “It had a darker feel. When we were in Joshua Tree, there were so many sad things in the world. We wanted to build something that found beauty in the fact the world has always been crazy. We were trying to find a way to be present enough to appreciate our surroundings even if they’re in decay.” Returning to Philadelphia, they put the finishing touches on the album in a house with the full lineup and longtime producer and collaborator Caleb Nelson. “The time off the road gave us perspective,” he continues.“ We bounced ideas back and forth, and we kept pushing ourselves.”

“Evergreen.” Upbeat guitar curls around a punk-y groove before colliding with an intoxicating refrain. “‘Orange Blood’ is more of an opaque love song, whereas ‘Evergreen’ jumps right into it,” he elaborates. “It’s a simple and straightforward love song.”

For the band, Orange Blood represents joy more than anything else.“ When you hear this, I hope it makes you happy,” he leaves off. “For us, it’s honest. We’ve been through some shit together to the point where we have become a family. This family has a unified goal to be the best band we can be. That’s what we’re searching for.”

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