The idea to record this album came early on during Covid’s lockdown for singer and reinvented musical poet Joy Askew after reactions to a Zoom-like video of her song about bingeing on Netflix. With the subject matter fast becoming a relatable Covid pastime, the wry humor of “This Is How The Story Goes,” plus the colorful video,inspired reactions of joy and delight, lifting spirits in uncertain times. At the suggestion of a band member, Brooklyn-based Askew launched into crafting what has become the ten-song album Everything Is Different, will be released May 20th on all platforms.
Everything Is Different, an album that begins with extinction and ends with a lasting gift!
The last song written for the album, “Silent,” begins with the word “extinction.” An earlier, pre-pandemic composition concludes with the wonder of standing in a French field full of sunflowers! Only when work on the new album was finished did Askew notice that some of her new songs reflect the innocence of life before the pandemic, while others reveal the change that has set in fast and deep during it.
There are twenty-six collaborators on Everything Is Different, musicians, engineers, and mixers whom Askew has met on her journey as an artist and musician since arriving in New York City from England in the Eighties. Joy has been a dedicated songwriter and recording artist since the late Nineties.
Over the last two very unusual years, Joy Askew worked alone in her studio, playing, singing, producing, and gathering separately recorded musical contributions from the many musicians who collaborated with her on this project. She describes these contributions as ribbons of connecting sounds, from Tokyo, Connecticut, Nyack, Long Island, Nashville, London, or even just a block away in Brooklyn. Some were recorded in living rooms, some in gorgeous-sounding studios, using everything from pots and pans to smartphones. And some arrived with accompanying video footage, perhaps shot in a garden, or even in the dark.
For Joy, the completion of the recording and upcoming album release became more than a triumph over the difficulties of the pandemic and isolation. After many months of work, when things were at last beginning to open up in Brooklyn and with only two songs remaining to complete the album, Joy broke both her arms and a wrist in a freak accident. The trauma of that experience and the damage to her body threw her for a loop and threw her project off track.
PAUSE!…………for a month...or so.
With two songs left to record, everything was different! These two tracks, “Aliens” and “Silent,” were based on keyboard riffs that she now wasn’t physically able to play. Resourcefully, she found a solution: searching through her musical archives, like rummaging through bins at the Salvation Army, Askew found and adapted previously recorded keyboard parts…and the record was finished!
Joy Askew has enjoyed a stellar career playing alongside music icons like Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson, Joe Jackson, Rodney Crowell, Jack Bruce, and Quincy Jones. She has performed with her own band on stages from CBGBs to festivals in the UK, USA, Japan, and Europe, and has opened for David Bowie and for David Byrne. Along the way, she has sung in a choir featured on an EP by Sufjan Stevens, collaborated with a British brass band, and released a downtempo jazz electronica album. Everything Is Different is her ninth solo album.
PRAISE FOR JOY
“ When I heard that Joy was going back to her roots in the Northeast of England, and recording with a traditional English brass band, I expected something very English and nostalgic . . . which this album is. But it’s not only that; it’s also surprisingly contemporary, or rather, timeless. As in timelessly beautiful songs, singing, and arrangements. “
"Joy has outdone herself this time. This is a brilliant, inspired album—so original and beautifully conceived, arranged and performed."
Beautiful sound! The synths are great, love the mood of this song!
LILA Playlists on "Silent"
"I thought the song was really well produced and written. I loved the layered vocals. I enjoyed the explosive drums buildup towards the end of the song. In fact, hats off to all of the musicians involved in the making of this song! I will be sharing the track to my playlist, and I'm really looking forward to checking out future releases from you!"
Sundown Roadtrips In A Gold Brown Spaceship on "Silent"
"Joy spellbound the audience at Bar LunÁtico, fronting a stellar New York City brass ensemble. They played the entire record ~ an ambitious undertaking which was rendered impeccably. The title track is simply unstoppable. We made them play it twice."
"To work with someone who has Joy`s passion, character and sheer love for music making was an experience we will never forget. The album is unique and we're incredibly proud to have played a part in this transatlantic collaboration."
The Brighouse & Rastrick Band