The name Pieces of Us Were Left on the Ground only tells part of the story.
It’s the title of the band Joycut’s new album, and references all the travel the group has done: from their native Bologna, Italy to treks across Europe and a few special shows in the U.S, and all the sounds and songs they recorded in bits and pieces along the way.
But there’s more to the album: all of what the band what the band picked up along the way, too.
This month, Joycut is coming to America for their first full tour, with their second stop scheduled for Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 9 p.m.
They’ll be supporting the record, their third full-length release.
It’s perhaps the most fully-realized rendering of their post-rock, dark-wave sound - think music like early Cure Records or the Cocteau Twins, only with ambient electronica beats and few, if any, lyrics.
Pieces was recorded in various studios in as the band captured ideas while on the road.
When the time came to make a proper album, Joycut realized they had amassed a sonic journal of their travels.
“We have been traveling during these years without thinking about making a new album,” explained Pasquale Pezzillo via email. “So two years and a half passed by and we noticed we were collecting loads of sound experiences and self recordings throughout that period.”
Joycut wanted the album to reflect “how we experienced and expanded our mood in relation to the places we visited,” said Pezzillo.
They recorded as they went, in Bologna and Ruberia in Italy, Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dusseldorf and Berlin in Germany, and finally New York.
“That was a very intense period. We were only interested in studying and investigating,” he said.
When they were done, they had a collection of songs that summed up what they discovered. Conceptually, explained Pezzillo, the fifteen songs “branch” into three subjects: journey and transition; events and destiny; memory and future.
And, on the eve of their first tour of North America, it’s easy to consider those ideas and how they led them to the U.S.
Joycut formed in 2001, an informal collection of musicians, for the most part, until they recorded a single in 2003 for the chance to play a local music festival in Bologna. The release and performance led to the opportunity to play in front of 30,000 people on the festival’s main stage.
Since then, the band has been moving forward steadily, putting out more than 13 releases including EPs, DVDs and full albums.
By chance, said Pezzillo, an American DJ found their music on the internet, and began playing it on his podcast.
“We felt like someone else from afar had the sensitivity to understand our voice,” he said. “So we started thinking about this the right time to come over seriously.”
The band came over for a few “test” shows in New York last October, and before that played at the famed SXSW music festival.
Now, Pezzillo said, they’re excited for their fisrt extended stay.
“Traveling is a metaphor for life,” he said. “So when one has the opportunity to share his point of you with another culture, what that gives back is priceless in terms of cultural and personal growth.”