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Mt. Joy

KINK FM PRESENTS: Indie folk from Philadelphia

Mt. Joy

Fort Atlantic

Fri, April 6

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$12.00

This event is 21 and over

Mt. Joy
Mt. Joy
"These dreams are more than paper things," sings Matt Quinn on Mt. Joy's infectious folk-rocker "Astrovan," a warm, yearning bit of road-trip philosophy that posits the existence of a Deadhead Jesus cruising the dusty highways of the countryside, nursing a roach on his way to only He knows where. It's an auspicious line from a band predicated on the revival of teenage dreams.

Mt. Joy started off as a rekindling of shared musical ambitions between Philadelphia high school friends Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar) and Sam Cooper (guitar). Reunited in Los Angeles thanks to the ebbs and flows of adult life, the pair met multi-instrumentalist Michael Byrnes through a Craigslist ad. They named themselves Mt. Joy as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam's childhood home, and together, with Byrnes' roommate Caleb Nelson producing, they recorded three songs and sent them out into the world, hoping for the best. "I knew I still wanted to write songs, but the realities of life made that dream seem pretty impossible," Quinn says.

Much to the band's amazement, "Astrovan" accomplished the impossible. Without initial promotion or fanfare, the song took off on Spotify, racking up 5 million streams to date. "The irony of 'Astrovan' was that song was really about being stuck in a life and wanting to have the opportunity to pursue a dream, and in an instant it gave us that opportunity. " Quinn says. Mt. Joy quickly transitioned from a part-time calling into a full-fledged band rounded out by Byrnes on bass, Sotiris Eliopoulos on drums and Jackie Miclau on keyboard.

Come 2017, Mt. Joy hit the road, and hit it hard: They played tour dates alongside the likes of The Shins, The Head and The Heart, The Lone Bellow, and Whitney, and popped up at some of the summer's biggest festivals, including Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and Made In America. "We were put on some big shows very quickly," Quinn says. "The growth for us has been exponential - we've really just become a family that's constantly pushing each other and the live show to be great." They eventually caught the attention of Dualtone Records and began work on their debut album.

Steeped in folk-rock tradition and powered by the intuitive creative connection between Quinn and Cooper, the songs on 'Mt. Joy' depict Quinn wrestling with his own conscience, where the mundane and the fantastic collide as he processes tragedy, society, and love. Opener "I'm Your Wreck" describes "monsters in (the) closet, using up the wi-fi" as it cycles from its desperate, spiraling verses to its swinging, stubbornly optimistic coda, while the loping, plaintive chords of "Younger Days" meditate on a frayed psyche and the fear of choosing the wrong path. "Sheep," with its collapsing, hoarse-voiced cry of "freedom was paid in blood," is a post-Trump salvo on the responsibilities of the fortunate to overcome political and social despondency. And on "Silver Lining," perhaps the album's brightest moment, Quinn surveys the damage of hard drugs and the vicious cycle of addiction, as the song's melancholic sentiment kicks into its fervid, defiant chorus, all shout-along vocals and trilling guitars.

Taken together, the self titled 'Mt. Joy' LP is a startlingly open document, wracked with the anxieties and fears that come just as life seems to start working out. It's a natural reaction from a wary band like Mt. Joy - the result of a sort of professional vertigo, as they've gone from virtual unknowns to hot young commodity in little over a year. But there's a sense of hope underlying everything, girded by the fact that the Mt. Joy LP is an impressive, honest portrayal of a young band facing that moment where dreams become reality, and finding beauty in the exhilarating uncertainty of it all.
Fort Atlantic
Fort Atlantic
Fort Atlantic in many ways resembles the Pacific Ocean near their hometown of Portland, Oregon. Calming warmth surrounded by scenic beauty followed by seasons of cold and lonely landscapes. Waves and cymbals crashing in unison and synthesizers push and pull like the tides.

After a triumphant self-titled debut in 2012, the band spent much of 2014 in the studio along the Oregon coast creating their follow up record. Of the process, lead singer and songwriter Jon Black says “There were a lot of hurdles and creative battles I had to fight with myself to get this record finished.” They emerged from the studio with fourteen tracks, nine of which made it onto the final version of Shadow Shaker Vol 1.

A rough 2016, including an emergency surrounding the birth of his son, a months-long hospital stay, and a much less intense but nevertheless painful process of being dropped by his record label and subsequent business teams, led Jon to search for a new start and different way to connect with fans and release music. What developed was a plan to release one song a month, followed by videos, vlogs, experimental art, and more. “We want to give each song the life it deserves. We live in a time where it is much easier to give people a deeper experience with music, and we want to make sure we have time to do that.”

Shadow Shaker Vol 1 will be released throughout 2017, one song at a time, alongside video landscapes and art, culminating in a full length physical album release in early 2018.