with Michael Parallax, Saskatchewan, Bellows
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15
Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave.
This week, folky dream-pop band Day Joy became the newest Orlando indie act to make a legitimate step onto the big stage. Yesterday, their debut album (Go to Sleep, Mess) was released nationally under the highly respected Frenchkiss label umbrella, amid advance buzz from taste-making indie websites like Paste, which just last year named them one of the "10 Florida Bands You Should Listen to Now," alongside fresh Sunshine State breakouts Hundred Waters and Levek. It's as much of an auspicious trumpets-and-fireworks graduation as an indie band can dream of. Their story, however, began unassumingly on a downtown rooftop, without any aspiration, using introspection, quietude and psychedelics as kindling.
While other aspects of their respective personal lives were fueled by pressure or ambition, the collaboration between Peter Michael Perceval and Michael Serrin – the shared headspace that became Day Joy – started without any. In many ways, it was a therapeutic escape, emotionally and physically removed from all else up on Perceval's Thornton Park rooftop.
"He lived in the upstairs part of a big house," Serrin says. "You could step out the window onto the roof. And we'd just sit on that roof and hang out, get high, play songs. So, it was kind of this really calm [place], almost like above the hustle of the town, and we'd go out there and sit on the roof. That was kind of like the mood of our area where we'd write … it was this really quiet area to make a soft, delicate song; let it breathe and stuff."
The appealing calm of that setting invited sessions of loose, organic, almost incidental jamming. And the particular terroir of their context and condition – those deep nocturnal hours spent under the cathedral oaks of downtown Orlando – helped fundamentally shape Day Joy's sound. "When I first lived downtown, when I was writing these songs on my roof, and, like, being on drugs and walking around Lake Lawsona and Lake Eola at night – I don't think it could not be a part of it," Perceval says.
In Day Joy's case, it became a warm womb for spellbinding pop reverie suspended in deep, reverbed textures. Of their alluringly opaque lens, Serrin says, "I feel like most people, they write like, 'Oh, it's weird that this sound would come from Florida,' because sunny Florida, you know? But then I feel like if any of those people would take a walk around Lake Eola at night or around Lake Lawsona or Thornton Park, those areas that we were spending our time in, even in the Mills 50 area, they would get where it came from. There's kind of a dreamy beauty about that area, like all the old trees with vines on them, and the moss, the brick roads and the swans."