No Joy go orchestral, cover Deftones on new EP (stream a track)Bill PearisPublished: April 14, 2021photo by Jodi Heartz
No Joy 's 2020 album Motherhood was unlike any record the Montreal artist had made before, mixing a variety of '90s dance music styles — not to mention some '90s nu-metal — into their signature loud/beautiful sound. A few of the songs on the album have now been radically reworked in an orchestral style for new EP Can My Daughter See Me From Heaven, which will be out May 19 via Joyful Noise in the US and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada. In addition to four Motherhood songs, the EP also features a cover of Deftones' "Teenager."
“Songs take on a new life when I’m on tour. These songs didn’t get that chance. I still had more to say with them,” says No Joy's Jasamine White-Gluz. “I probably never would’ve been like ‘let’s get a bunch of classically trained players together,’ if it wasn’t for covid-19 [canceling tours. This EP] was an opportunity to do something that wasn’t obvious. It’s a bedroom recording, but it doesn’t sound like we recorded this in our bedrooms. I wanted to do something that sounded bigger than Motherhood did, and Motherhood was recorded before covid.”
White-Gluz enlisted a small ensemble to rework the songs, including experimental harpist Nailah Hunter, Montreal cellist and performance artist Ouri, drummer Sarah Tawer, and french horn player and classically trained opera singer Brandi Sidoryk. The record was co-produced by regular collaborator Tara McLeod (Kittie), who also played guitar on the EP, with mixing handled by Jorge Elbrecht, and mastering Heba Kadry (Björk, Slowdive, Ryuichi Sakamoto). Jasamine was more of an orchestrator than anything else here. “I don’t even play guitar on this record,” White-Gluz adds. “That’s never happened before.”
Jasamine also notes that the inspiration for the EP was The Disney Channel's 1986 DTV Valentine special, which set songs by Eurythmics and Whitney Houston to classic animation, as well as '90s acts like Bjork and Portishead playing orchestral concerts. “Some of those late 90s electronica trip-hop acts involved strings in their live performance," White-Gluz says. "I was interested in that, and with some of them, I was like, ‘Let’s go full Little Mermaid.”
You can get a taste of Heaven with lead track "Kidder," previously Motherhood's closing track, which makes lovely use of harp and is a total transformation of the original. The video was directed by a 7-year-old named Sloan, and you can check that out below.
There are a few different editions of Can My Daughter See Me From Heaven available for preorder, including a cassette featuring a case hand-painted by Jasamine.
Kidder – From Heaven [5:06]
Fish – From Heaven [4:04]
Four – From Heaven [4:22]
Teenager – From Heaven (Deftones cover) [4:06]
Dream Rats – From Heaven [8:03]