Northeast Times

Pieces from the road

The Itali­an band Joycut vis­its Johnny Brenda’s on Tues­day, Feb. 25, to per­form mu­sic from their new al­bum.

Based in Bo­logna, Italy, the band Joycut is launch­ing its first tour of the U.S. this month. Pre­vi­ously, the band has played the prom­in­ent SX­SW fest­iv­al in Aus­tin, Texas, and has opened for Mod­est Mouse and Ar­cade Fire in Europe. PHOTO COUR­TESY OF LUCA SGAMEL­LOTTI

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.”

For in­form­a­tion, vis­it­joycut.com or johnnybren­das.com.

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