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Single Premiere: Spread Joy Strike Up Another Eccentric Rush of Art-Punk on "Dry"

Ahead of the release of their appropriately titled sophomore effort, II, out next week through Feel It Records, the Chicago outfit Spread Joy have returned with their latest single "Dry," a continuation of the band's impeccably tight and expertly played art-punk.

Photo by Alexa Viscius

Undoubtedly, one of the best bands to emerge from the global pandemic has been the Chicago art-punk four-piece Spread Joy, who charmed all those with short attention spans with last year's self-titled debut album, which clocked ten tracks in fourteen minutes. Luckily the band returned last month with the totally wired single, "Repetition," along with the announcement of their sophomore effort, the appropriately titled II, out May 13 through Feel It Records.

Reminiscent to seminal post-punk bands like Suburban Lawns, Kleenex/LiLiPUT, Hans-A-Plast, Spread Joy's signature near-minute bursts of sharp hooks, dizzying guitars, and snappy rhythms cram together on the band's latest cut "Dry." The new single is a whirlwind of Spread Joy's unpredictability and self-aware weirdness, which is what makes them stand out from their peers, especially with vocalist Briana Hernandez's casual jitteriness and rapid yelps fitting perfectly over the disjointed groove that makes you crave more.

Along with the premiere, we caught up with Spread Joy to discuss more about the new single and what they're anticipating ahead of next week's release.

Paperface Zine: How did the track "Dry" come about and what did you envision for it when initially composing it?

Raidy Hodges: This was in the first batch songs we rehearsed for II: "Dry," "Discomfort is Palpable," and "Repetition." Musically, "Dry" sort of came out pretty easily. We didn't have to think too much about it. It's always very satisfying when a song almost just materializes in its finalized form straight out the gate! We were like, "Yeah that's it, next song."

Briana Hernandez: Lyrically, it's about this crush I had on a lady after a period of cis guys. I was excited by the reminder of all the ways affection looks like. I'm not the most vulnerable person in the world; I don't really like talking about my feelings, but when it seemed like this is what the song was gonna be about, I just let it happen.

This is the second offering from your anticipated sophomore effort. Take me through the recording process of it. Where did you record the new album and what was the recording / mixing process like for it?

BH: Raidy had a general date in mind to record and that's basically what happened! The process was really similar to the first album; Doug Malone from Jamdek Recording Studio recorded and mixed it. We moved quickly, worked through hiccups with patience and I made up a certain percentage of lyrics right on the spot that I now get to memorize cause it's been recorded haha.

Your self-titled debut was one of our favorite releases last year and I know it was on many people's end of the year lists. What are your thoughts looking back on it a year later since its release?

BH: Awww yeah, glad you all liked it! This being my first band, I was really chuffed by it all. Even though we didn't get to play many shows in 2021, there was a large community behind it. Makes me wish I was a scrapbooker so, you know, I could have scrapbooked about it for my future self.

RH: Didn't even know it had been a year! That's crazy how fast it went by. So glad all those folks dug our record.

Nick Beaudoin: I'm sad it's over, happy it happened. Tyler Bixby: Thoughts on the first record? Lots and lots of gratitude. Such a privilege to be able to create with friends, truly a pleasure to see folks connect with it.

What are you most excited about for the release of this new album?

BH: I'm most excited about hittin' the open road with my joy boys. We're jumping on the tail-end of Spllit's tour mid-May for a few days, which will be great. Special hello to Ronnie and Raegan (Ye-Ye) in Spllit!

RH: The tour with Spllit and just playing shows. Already working on the third record and I’m really excited to rehearse those songs. Maybe we can get back in the studio at some point this year too!

NB: Yeah, I'm excited to see who we get to play with this year.

TB: I think we'll be in St. Louis the day the album comes out, we had a blast when we played there last year. Definitely looking forward to that! Also it would be cool if Yadier Molina came to the show.

Spread Joy's II comes out May 13 through Feel It Records.

Pre-order the upcoming album below and purchase tickets to their album launch here.


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