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Music

Day Joy releases much-anticipated debut album

'Go to Sleep, Mess' premieres on 'Paste', receives early praise

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: , License: N/A


By the dawn of the new millennium, Perceval was getting heavily into indie music, with bands like Radiohead and the Mars Volta expanding his musical horizon. But it was early Iron & Wine that gave him folk fever, which was fully consummated when his then-girlfriend bought him a banjo for his 21st birthday.

"Had I not gotten that, I don't think any of this music would ever have really started," he says. However, it was their breakup that would prove pivotal in bringing him to Orlando. Between his musical partnership with Serrin and his love for the city's downtown indie scene, it's where the next critical phase in his creative life began.

For all the soft, embracing hues of Day Joy's sound, there is a sharp emotional edge. As it turns out, the liberating comfort of the rooftop microcosm would unlock an expression of the personal demons haunting them at the time. Some specific, and seismic, personal ripples within each of their individual realities would bring them to, if not identical, then particularly complementary places. And so the crestfallen die of their sound was cast.

"My life was kind of turned upside down, and my father passed away, and my mom didn't work, so our house got foreclosed on, and my whole family basically had to move," Serrin says. "So, my whole life was fucked up, and I was fucked up, and the band [An Introduction to Sunshine] just kind of took a back burner. … Meanwhile, I was writing kind of more heartfelt songs with Peter. … Intro was a little too poppy to put the pain into what I was feeling."

"I met Michael right before his dad died," Perceval says. "And I think that all of the songs I was writing or creating, Michael sort of used as a catalyst or a vessel to put the real emotions he was feeling about a lot of things into [it] that he wasn't able to do with Intro necessarily." For his part, Perceval says, "I don't know how to write something really poppy or happy." Besides working through the culture shock of transplanting his life to Orlando, he further admits after some hesitation, "I think I have daddy issues probably to some degree, especially when I first met Michael. A lot of the stuff that he wrote was coming off of losing his father and dealing with those emotions. … He comes from the perspective of missing his father. But him and his father were much closer. And me and my father weren't, and so I was always missing my father also."

This translated into their joint creative process, Perceval says. "What I felt with what I was writing was almost always in tune with whatever he would say, to the point where I felt like I was writing that same song," he says.

But, again, there was no design, at least not in the beginning. "We never recorded it or wrote it down or anything," Serrin says. "It was just catchy enough or stuck with us enough that we just kind of had them all in our head. So we eventually had a bunch of songs." The threat of another move for Perceval – this time to Africa – finally impelled them to the first formalized step of the project: recording a lo-fi demo of six songs, just to document that period.

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