Muscles of Joy - Muscles of Joy (4 stars)

Remarkable debut fuses styles with melodic instinct, sensitivity, and coherence

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Muscles of Joy - Muscles of Joy

(Watts of Goodwill)

For the past three years, Glasgow’s Muscles of Joy have honed a singular body of work that spans myriad divergent forms – from post-punk to Bulgarian a cappella; from Gaelic psalm singing to New Pop. The vocal-led, all-female septet’s trick is to fuse such styles with melodic instinct, sensitivity, and coherence.

They’ve established a formidable live reputation, but what strikes on this, their debut album, is how the songs live and breathe on record: witness the organic percussion and sublime, evolving harmonies on ‘Water Break-Its-Neck’, or the pliant bass-lines and increasing vocal defiance on ‘Room of Our Own’.
The empowering tribal-pop of ‘Coins Across his Hips’ and the blissful psyche of ‘Swan Shape’ further manifest the charms of this remarkable debut.

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