The third major release from Wales' The Joy Formidable, Hitch offers many of hallmarks of their alt-rock sound: Impeccable dynamics (those familiar with their body of work know they may start softly often, but boy do they like to get loud!), arrangements and chord progressions which are creative without becoming distracting, and an absolutely epic, multi-layered recording.
The record also brings some pleasant surprises; chiefly among them is an increased level of clarity in Ritzy's vocals at just the right point on certain songs. While the band certainly slips back into familiar "Wait, what did she say?"-territory on more than a few occasions, one could argue that element is part of the band's sound, and should never fully go away. Still, this slight change adds greatly to the accessibility and intimacy of TJF's sound.
Though Hitch has many a standout track, I'd be remiss in not highlighting my favorite of the bunch: The album's fourth entry, "Liana", which showcases not only the signature dynamic range of the band, but also might just be the most awe-inspiring, well-constructed song I've heard in the last decade.
Top Three Tracks:
- Blowing Fire
- Don't Let Me Know