The Joy Formidable has kept a relatively low profile since the release of its sophomore album, 2013’s Wolf’s Law. Over the last few years, the Welsh outfit has surfaced briefly to contribute to a Sparklehorse tribute LP and the launching of Aruthrol, its idea of a monthly vinyl singles club.
That changes this week, however, as the alt-rockers make their triumphant return. What has lured them out of their long hibernation, you ask? Well, that would be the almighty Twin Peaks series, whose highly-anticipated reboot will boast twice as many episodes as was first announced, as well as welcome back key names in David Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan.
Here, The Joy Formidable tackles “Falling”, which was originally composed by Angelo Badalamenti with lyrics penned by David Lynch, and whose instrumental version became the iconic theme song of the TV series. As to be expected, the band, who are known for their dark dream pop, pretty much nail the original’s eerie atmospherics. (The artwork, seen above, is also absolutely perfect.) Stream the cover below.
In an accompanying Q&A, lead singer Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan talks about the band’s decision to take on “Falling” and their hopes for the Twin Peaks revival, as well as offers an update on their next album. Check it out below.
Besides a pair of Aruthrol one-offs, this is the first music you’ve shared since 2013. So I think the obvious question is: Why this cover, and why now?
If you delve deep, we’ve worked on a few different things since 2013, but most of our time has been on the new record and all the material that’s come out of those sessions. Doing a cover is a bit of a diversion, reinventing a piece of music that you’ve always admired. We love Twin Peaks. Matt stuck a couple of logs under his arms, we ate some cherry pie and celebrated the prospect of a new series.
What new components did you bring to this to separate it from the original? How do you go about recording a cover of a cult-classic TV show theme, anyway?
I have no idea, we just went for it. It’s atmospheric like Badalamenti’s, a little pushier than the original. Dave Lynch was shouting for “more slide guitar,” so we said, “Alright Dave, give us a minute.”
How excited — or not — are you for the return of Twin Peaks on Showtime? Have you been following its progress as closely as we have? And hey, have you considered submitting this for the new theme?
We’re rooting for it, hoping it’ll be a return to form, the brilliance of story and script that made the original so special. Very exciting that Lynch is directing it all, hopefully he can make it the way that he wants, uncompromising — I’m willing to wait until 2017 if that’s the case. We won’t be submitting it, no. That wasn’t the motive.
You’ve also previously released a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands”; what draws you to cover a song, and what are some other artists or tracks you’ve wanted to try and put your own spin on?
“Badlands” is a great track. We never studio recorded it, just enjoyed the energy of playing it live. We’ve done a few like that, not really during our shows; we’ve got enough of our own material, but in different contexts, acoustic versions, swapping up the instrumentation. I might have a mess with “Tonight” by Iggy Pop for a friend.
Are you working on new original material for another LP? When might we hear word on something like that, and what can we expect when it finally comes?
You bet. We’re almost finished, just getting ready to mix. We made the record in North Wales, in our studio, The Red Brick. We’ve taken our time, made something special. We might preview some stuff this autumn at a few of the festivals we’re playing. See how we’re fucking feeling.