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The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

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Album Review: Mt. Joy’s “Mt. Joy”

Album+Review%3A+Mt.+Joys+Mt.+Joy

Mt. Joy is a Philadelphia-based indie rock band, formed in 2016. They can often be compared to bands like Caamp and The Lumineers. Their debut single “Astrovan” was released the same year, followed by “Sheep,” “Cardinal,” and “Silver Lining” in 2017.

Matt Quinn, the lead singer and guitarist, met fellow guitarist Sam Cooper at their high school in Philadelphia and reunited in Los Angeles in 2016. They began to make music, and together recorded “Astrovan” with bassist Michael Byrnes, whom they met on Craigslist and quickly became an addition to what would become their band. 

After the success of “Astrovan,” drummer Sotiris Eliopoulos and keyboardist Jackie Miclau joined the group, forming the complete current Mt. Joy. 

On March 2nd, 2018, they released their debut self-titled album, “Mt. Joy.” This folk and indie rock album contained 13 songs, including the previously mentioned singles. 

This album has clear themes of drug use, and probably isn’t best for younger children, containing lyrics like “ But if it’s the drugs, the women, the wine, the weed, The love that took everything I own” and “Step up in line, I’m ordering food high, And I don’t know why.” 

Silver Lining

Silver Lining is Mt. Joy’s #1 song, according to Apple Music. The song talks about enjoying simple pleasures in life, like the lyrics:  “My brother, let the heart just beat, Drink your wine, smoke your weed.”

In the chorus, it goes on to talk about moving on in life.

“But if it’s the drugs, the women, the wine, the weed

The love that took everything I own

Just take it oh oh oh

And tell the ones you love you love them

And teach only what you know, and oh

You better know it well”

Lyrics like “Just take it” imply that it’s best to not dwell on what happened, and just accept it, and let it happen.”

Beautiful song, Caleb Rating: 10/10

Sheep

Sheep is a slow starter, with about 30 seconds of instrumental before abruptly changing into the melody of the main part of the song. In my opinion, this song is all over the place. It starts with the line “Kids get high in the basement sometimes,” which might immediately divert the listener from the message. This line is followed by: “And tell themselves not to watch the screens.” I think this line is where we’re first introduced to the very political themes of this song. The song is written in response to the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the riots that came from it, and can be seen in the chorus:

“When there is blood on the streets of Baltimore

Kids are getting ready for a long war

Maybe I was born with the wrong skin

But those sheep are rolling in the mud again”

The song goes on to call for change, in the line: “She said a change is gonna come, but it’s all on us.” 

Sheep is a great song, not only in its messages, but it’s also very beautiful melodically, and I think it perfectly showcases Matt Quinn’s incredible voice.

I give it an 8/10. 

Julia

Julia is an exquisite song, but fair warning, it contains strong themes of drugs and substances. The first line of the song goes: 

“Straighten my sweater, fix my spine

Step up in line

I’m ordering food high

And I don’t know why”

This song can make little sense at times, but the community of fans helped me see a different angle on it. The subreddit r/MtJoy (not the best source I know) had a thread three years ago in which a user prompted: “Curious what some of you interpret the song Julia to be about.” The top response quotes lead singer Matt Quinn, although I couldn’t find a source. The post states Quinn says (paraphrased) that the song is about romantic relationships at times in your life when you are changing. The subject of the song, Julia, is introduced directly after the lyrics quoted above: 

“I’m so nervous

I won’t make it

‘Cause that’s my favorite waitress”

It’s pretty clear to see that Julia is a love interest to Quinn, who wrote the song. This is clear to see in the pre-chorus:

“But Julia

Fix me a blue sky in the warm sun

And I’ll be a bad night

Julia

How long, how long ’till I’m all gone?”

Quinn associates Julia with happiness, shown in the line “Fix me a blue sky in the warm sun,” a scene that usually is associated with happiness. The next line, “and I’ll be a bad night” makes no sense to me, but maybe ties into the drugs/substance theme. Speaking of which, this theme is apparent in the chorus:

“Cause here I am

Just stumbling down Elysian fields

A Spanish moss and a sudden feel

Silver moonlight in the trees

And the devil’s in my bloodstream

Don’t say you loved the old me”

Reddit user Uptowner7000 proposes that this song takes place in New Orleans, considering Elysian Fields is the name of an avenue near the French Quarter. They go on to suggest the line “stumbling down Elysian Fields” talks about walking down Elysian Fields Ave drunk. This goes hand in hand with the line “A Spanish moss and a sudden feel,” which Uptowner suggests talks about the Spanish moss that commonly hangs from the trees in New Orleans. Finally, in the last line of the chorus, we see the tie into the original subreddit response. “Don’t say you loved the old me” makes complete sense with the idea that the song is about changing as a person in a relationship

I think this is a perfect song, and my favorite on the album, and for that reason, I give it a 10 as well.

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About the Contributor
Caleb Meranus, Senior Journalist
Caleb is a 9th-grade student who enjoys photography, and working behind a camera. This is his first semester in the newsroom, and he has been producing multimedia content like the segment Education of our Educators, Nolan's Soup Review, and other Gator Nation News media. Caleb has also been assisting other writers by taking pictures for their articles. You can find more of Caleb's photography work on his Instagram.

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