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***Joy is a duo hailing from Boston, Massachusetts. Their debut CD melds idiosyncratic folk leanings with the best parts of Shrimper’s two other Boston strongholds (The Secret Stars’ succinct taste for pop and John Davis’s otherworldly, wispy pop ruminations). Founding members Matt Savage and Daniel Madri have been playing together for over a decade, including their four years in eclectic quartet Godboy (Orange Entropy Records) and an ongoing presence in the more introspective and sonically experimental Jack McCoys (Ambiguous City Records). Vocalist Savage has been praised in the press for his ability to construct a beautiful narrative through creative manipulation of language, as well as an uncanny knack for serious yet unconventional melodic hooks, complemented by Dan Madri’s equally note-worthy guitar textures and tones. Joy’s first record offers up vulnerable and frank home recordings, for the most part is stripped of any garnish, making the songwriting the focus of this self-titled debut. The eleven songs here herald a soft, subtle return to the fundamentals of pop music. That is not to say, however, that Joy isn’t above working in strategically overdubbed thuds and warbles, experiments in fidelity, and surreal lyrics. Joy will be performing shows on the east coast to celebrate the record’s release, opening shows for Thalia Zadek, The Secret Stars, and performing some side dates on their own. There will be scattered dates across the states through the summer. Bless its tiny little head that the band’s name is not “The Joy.”