It is nice checking out a band live with no real expectations. Joy Zipper’s latest album American Whip is a beautiful, string-filled pop masterpiece. Given the amount of production involved with their new album, I had no idea what to expect from their music in a live setting. I caught the band last night at the sold-out Phoenix / Dogs Die In Hot Cars concert at NYC’s Irving Plaza, and left completely won over. Fronted by the girlfriend/boyfriend team of Tabitha Tindale and Vinny Cafiso, the duo expanded into a quartet for their live show in order to recreate the lush sounds of their latest album.
The recorded version of Joy Zipper overflows with sun kissed melodies fueled by the inspiration of Brian Wilson, Belle & Sebastian and Air. On stage, the group takes those beautiful melodies and ups the rock a notch in their sound. They walk a very fine line between California pop and French electronica, which makes for a refreshingly original sound.
Their live set included all the album cuts that I hoped to hear, including the gorgeous orchestral pop of “Dosed & Became Invisible”. The layers of perfect vocal harmony saturated concertgoer’s ears during “Christmas Song” and “Baby You Should Know”. The droning male/female vocals occasionally remind me of the slower tracks from the Dandy Warhols, if Courtney Taylor-Taylor suddenly became obsessed with Air. They definitely show a bit of ‘90s shoegazer in their sound, but when mixed with infectious pop hooks they become completely irresistible.
My advice to those of you catching the Phoenix tour in the US this spring is that you need to show up early. Joy Zipper's sounds of My Bloody Valentine and the Beach Boys are blended together in perfect harmony within their music. This is truly a band to watch in 2005. Don’t miss them when they hit a town near you.