A serendipitous party at a friend’s house turned out to be the catalyst that made Joviale start trying different ways to express the unrest they were feeling. A few years down the line, they are one of the most exciting and peculiar voices in the alternative electronic avant-pop scene.
Their new project is called Hurricane Belle and it draws inspiration from Peter Shenai’s “Hurricane Bells” project. In the experiment, the artist cast 5 bronze bells to model the structure of Hurricane Katrina, so that each bell represented a 3D snapshot of the hurricane across its trajectory, with their sound indicating the growing power of the hurricane as it approached New Orleans.
These ideas, in particular how external elements affect the “inside”, informed Joviale’s new musical exploration, where the vintage, blurry feel of the colourful, impressionist-like worlds of their 2019 EP Crisis have transformed into a darker, more sophisticated and multifaceted canvas to look at and get lost into.
Born by the fusion of Joviale’s sound palette and the one of their collaborator, Nathan Jenkins, aka Bullion, this new EP shows a whole new, more intimate and private side of Joviale. We reached out to them to find out more.
GRIOT: How are you? How has this past year been for you artistically and personally?
Joviale: I’m Ok. I’m craving some sun. The past year has been tough, but transformative. I feel like there is a lot I am still processing because I feel any type of reflection feels premature, we are still in a pandemic and I don’t really feel able to articulate what the past year has been like just yet.
Hurricane Belle is out. Why did you decide to specifically work on this theme for your new Ep? How did you expand and build on Peter Shenai’s ideas?
I think the idea that an external force can articulate what happens internally is very fascinating. It’s used a lot in literature and film and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture this 3 minutes at a time. I watched a lot of documentaries and films and read a lot of passages too. I’m not sure if I expanded on the ideas, but I just tried to readjust my own.
Visually speaking, this work is very different from Crisis. How did you build the visual identity of this project?
I think there was definitely a conscious separation from the project before because I wanted to feel like the work is growing. I think strength was a key motif and anything I could ascribe to strength, such as bodybuilding or techno/rave culture, although worlds apart represented the idea of strength for me.
It’s easy to relate to what you said on the day Hurricane Belle dropped about the frightening feeling of sharing your deepest secrets with the world — which is a challenge for every artist. Two EPs down the line, what are the things you find most difficult navigating this industry as an artist and as an individual?
The game. It’s a game, and when you’re not prepared, and don’t know the rules or the ways to survive this game, it will engulf you and it can be quite a hopeless place to be.
What are your projects for the summer?
More visual work I think. I’ve been writing quite a lot, so excited to start finishing them off now that this EP is out. I feel like the idea feels a lot easier to manage now I’m not sitting on unreleased music. Also some shows. But we shall see what this year has in store as it’s a lot safer to respond to circumstances rather than set expectations.
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