NO JOY’s relentless sonic permutations are evidence of frontperson and principal songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz’s insatiable desire to grow. The Montréal-based project began a decade ago as e-mail-traded riffs; subsequent albums showcased a penchant for delay-saturated jangle, industrial distortion, and sludgey drones over disco beats. White-Gluz, feeling too reliant on her primary instrument, ditched the guitars and detoured to modular electronica for a 2018 EP composed with Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3’s Pete Kember).

For No Joy’s first full length in five years, White-Gluz took what she learned from synthesis, reincorporated guitars, and produced an album that is not a departure from No Joy’s early shoegaze, but a stylistically omnivorous expansion that ekes into trip hop, trance and nu-metal. Motherhood is the culmination of years composing outside of her comfort zone, and a return to DIY recording with a leveled-up expertise in production. Touring with genre-divergent artists has honed the band’s comfortably multifarious sound; No Joy picked up post-hardcore fans on the road with Quicksand, and ambient techno fans on gigs with Baths. “As long as people are open minded about music, they can hear different things,” explains White-Gluz, “Maybe because there are a lot of layers.”

“A lot of layers” may be an understatement. Lead single “Birthmark” combines the ‘90s dance rock of Republica with phasing fuzz à la Deftones’ brand of loud-quiet-loud. “Dream Rats” (featuring White-Gluz’s sister, Alissa, of deathcore supergroup Arch Enemy) manages to cram synth choir, blast beats, cowboy leads, and signal-jammed shredding into a radio-friendly three and a half minutes. “Nothing Will Hurt” melds detuned arpeggios, Berlin school synths, slap bass, and seemingly infinite vocal facets. Throughout are loving nostalgic nods to the records White-Gluz adored on their release twenty years ago–Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, No Doubt.

Collaborative, exploratory fun hallmarks No Joy’s discography, and Motherhood is no exception. Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast) returns in his role as co-producer and multi-instrumentalist. The band’s touring sound engineer Madeleine Campbell, who authors the Women In Sound zine, came on as engineer alongside Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie). Drummer Jamie Thompson (Islands, Esmerine) translated rhythmic ideas into hard-hitting performance, and brought in drum machines of his own. Frenetic shredder Tara McLeod (Kittie) makes her No Joy recorded debut, contributing not only guitars but banjos. Somehow plastic clarinet, scrap metal, skits, bongos and an EMS Putney made the mix. Songs went from laptop demos to labyrinthine recordings, tracked primarily at fellow Montrealers Braids’ Studio Toute Garnie. White-Gluz laid down the vocals at home, which allowed for experimentation with ethereal harmonies and shrouded ad libs.

White-Gluz hadn’t read Sheila Heti’s Motherhood when she wrote and titled this record, but when she did, the narrative parallels between the two projects were “like looking into a mirror.” “Will I regret not opening my insides out?” she sings on “Primal Curse,” during which she reads an optimistic letter her mom wrote as a teenager to her future kids. “Time is critical, and you have to make decisions that are extremely time sensitive and your body doesn’t care,” she explains. “It’s a lot of seeing myself through my mother’s experiences, and the physicalness of a body getting older.” The album also investigates the implications of her parents’ aging on her role as their child, as on the DJ-scratching wah groover “Four.”

Heti’s book’s central conceit is an open-ended pondering of whether dedication to writing is more significant than the desire to have children. No Joy doesn’t definitively answer this existential quagmire, either–how could anyone? Instead, Motherhood is a beautifully dense exploration that proves how thoughtful, thorough music can translate into art that is rich, vast and alive.

Motherhood will be released on Joyful Noise (ROW) and Hand Drawn Dracula (CAN) on August 21st 2020.

“Gorilla vs Bear’s Albums of 2020” – GORILLA VS BEAR

“No Joy seems to have cracked a code to infusing shoegaze with more peculiar genres: trip-hop, R&B, and even nu-metal – to explore unclaimed territory and create a new sound for herself” – FAVOURITE FIFTY OF 2020DOMINIONATED

“an exhilarating, shape-shifting art-pop statement” – APPLE MUSIC

“one of the most distinguished shoegaze acts of the last decade”… “a shoegaze album with a rare scope and an even rarer sense of fun and imagination” – 8/10 PITCHFORK

“a blisteringly progressive record – one that genuinely feels years ahead of its time” – 9/10 THE LINE OF BEST FIT

“a 42-minute whirlwind of dreamy, danceable, shape-shifting art-pop that feels both chaotic and carefully controlled; staggeringly complex and laser-focused; exhausting and exhilarating” – 8.4/10 PASTE

” White-Gluz branches out fearlessly in all directions on Motherhood … and takes No Joy’s always-restless creative spark to unimaginable new places.” – 4/5 ALLMUSIC

“hybridization of shoezage and other ’90s influences (trip hop, electronica, nu metal)” – BROOKLYN VEGAN

“It’s one of music’s great paradoxes: No Joy inevitably leads to joy… hyper-catchy, spaced-out electronic pop” – STEREOGUM

“It’s an expansive, often shape-shifting blend of shoegazerish psych-rock with buoyant electro-pop, atmospheric dream-pop and blistering hard-rock, combining fuzzy, effects-laden guitars and driving, often propulsive rhythms with ethereal vocals and soaring song hooks.” – KEXP

“Montreal’s No Joy refuse to stick to the shallow end of shoegaze revivalism on their fourth album. Death metal, 90s house-pop, and darkwave are just some of the genres in Jasamine White-Gluz’s palette, and she knows how to make them match.” – FADER

“With Motherhood, No Joy has given birth to something entirely new.” – BANDCAMP DAILY

“an eclectic record that shows White-Gluz at her most exploratory, twisting No Joy’s sound into new, compelling shapes.” – 8/10 EXCLAIM!


USA/CAN: Space Agency
QUEBEC: Dare to Care


PHOTO by Mathieu Fortin
view : lo-res | hi-res

PHOTO by Mathieu Fortin
view : lo-res | hi-res

PHOTO by Mathieu Fortin
view : lo-res | hi-res

PHOTO by Mathieu Fortin
view : lo-res | hi-res




01. Birthmark
02. Dream Rats
03. Nothing Will Hurt
04. Four
05. Ageless
06. Why Mothers Die
07. Happy Bleeding
08. Signal Lights
09. Fish
10. Primal Curse
11. Kidder

HDD084  · RELEASE DATE: August 21, 2020

Written by Jasamine White-Gluz & Jorge Elbrecht
Produced by Jorge Elbrecht & Jasamine White-Gluz
Mixed by Jorge Elbrecht
Mastered by Heba Kadry
Assistant Engineering by Madeleine Campbell & Chris Walla
Additional Mixing and Editing by Tyler Fitzmaurice

Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Synths and Additional Instruments by Jasamine White-Gluz
Guitar, Bass, Vocals and Additional Instruments by Jorge Elbrecht
Guitar and Banjo by Tara McLeod
Drums by Jamie Thompson
Additional Vocals on “Dream Rats” by Alissa White-Gluz
Additional Percussion, Synths and Wind Instruments by Jeremy Dabrowski

Art Direction by Jodi Heartz
Photography by Mathieu Fortin

Recorded in LA and Montreal, throughout 2O18.
Under exclusive license to Hand Drawn Dracula Records in Canada.

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