If you’ve ever had the hankering for some alt-rock quirk to spice up your otherwise bland and papery breakfast cereal, I can heartily suggest starting your day with Tears of Joy, an EP of indie-meets-electro oddball-ery from Creature of Doom, the moniker of David Baldwin’s (of New York indie outfit The Dig) solo outing. Equal parts of post-punk gloom and new wave frippery collide in a creative outpouring that’s a little bit Depeche Mode, a little bit Velvet Underground and a whole lot of Flaming Lips and Portishead.
Veering hazily between the introspective, Scott Pilgrim moping of “First Day of Spring” to the downright maudlin “After You’re Gone,” Tears of Joy is hardly a happy record – but it’s still an uplifting one, driven by soft electronic rhythms and easy, forgiving melodies. The beauty of the whole effect is its simple narratives that speak easily to anyone who has ever known loss of any kind. Even the surreal “Elephant in the Room,” which Baldwin initially conceptualized as “a funk band playing in a dungeon,” is simple to connect with – a believable, human narrative that meshes with almost any softer listening playlist.
Bask in the unsettling – yet catchy – weirdness that is “Elephant in the Room.”
The meandering, nearly aimless flavour of the record may put off more focused listeners, but the reality is that Tears of Joy is a fairly accurate depiction of life for most people: micro-interactions and blips on the radar of a greater, scarier whole, looking for glimmers of hope and joy amidst the detritus of society’s rather overwhelmingly bleak outlook.
Tears of Joy Track Listing:
01. The First Day of Spring
02. Elephant in the Room
03. Some Other World
04. After You’re Gone
Run Time: 13:56
Release date: February 21, 2020
Record Label: Self-Released