Dear Joy EP Review

Dear Joy is a music project created by Thai/Scandinavian singer/songwriter Louise Vilstrup. She has collaborated and played with various musicians around London, in search of a home for her songs.

Her first  EP promises to take her listeners on a journey from deep melancholy to the euphoric feelings of being alive.

Dear Joy smallCartoon Song’ saunters in like a housekeeper perambulating in an afternoon break. Stiffly starched poise and carefully tucked in modesty. But the trickling horn licks are truculent. And the pace is itchy scratchy. The voice is frivolous and whispering. It flitters like a fan of sandalwood in the lantern light. And the  “What if life was a cartoon…” lyric is as neat and as nutritious as a dippy egg.

In ‘May 7th’ the beautifully melodic voice is like the whisper of a confidant. A word in your ear. The soft jazz accompaniment tapes together the sensual strings that meander through the piece. The melody is covered with sugar and soft shell. It places a calming spell on you.

After the mellow harmonica and pathos laden beginning of  ‘Summer’s Day’ the verse beguilingly misquotes “California Dreamin’” with the entry line  “All the leaves are green (brown) and the sky is blue (grey)”. That song was originally created by The Mamas & the Papas as a desire to  magic-up some West Coast summer sun to blaze out the bitter melancholy of a New York winter.  This song brilliantly re-mixes similar elements of somnolent jazz with the warm, mellifluous voice of Lou.  You feel as though you can just sink into the warm folds of this song. Kept from sleep by the gentle hum of mosquito-cello-and the siren sounds of the harp. It’s imaginative and beautiful.

To a delicately plucked acoustic guitar, “About a Kite” sees life – and regret – from the bobbing fly-way perspective of the kite. Drawn by a cruel wind, the kite disappears into the night… “Swallowed up in fear … of ever letting (you) come near…”  The lightly brushed drums add tension to this piece, and the voice reaches startling highs and nut-brown lows.   As the sky darkens – and storm clouds threaten overhead – the voice gathers strength of purpose and flies more determinately. To obtain assurance. And to seek a constraining hand upon the tether.

Antigravity’ completes this EP. Lou’s voice is warm and generous, private and confessional. There is no force in it. The voice rolls out like a corkscrew of creamy toothpaste. As the shaded cello adds a touch of colour to the veiled voice, the song reaches a plateau:  “When the earth is spinning round …. the world is turning upside down.”  It seems that we will all need some sort of good luck charm to be able to lift up our bodies … from all the pressures that keep them tethered down so intensely everyday.

Luckily for us, Dear Joy provides that charm.
– © Neil_Mach July 2013 –



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