New Music With a Side of Gratitude: Mt. Joy on What's Next in 2020 [Q&A]
Mt. Joy has been on our radar since "Astrovan" garnered over one million streams in a single month. Soon after, the LA-via-Philly folk-rock outfit put out three follow-up singles, “Sheep,” “Cardinal,” and “Silver Lining,” and then finally their debut, self-titled album in 2018.
The band has been touring non-stop since and has hit some of the biggest festivals in the world. Now, they are working on a sophomore album and are ready to start putting out new music. We caught up with Matt Quinn, the band's lead singer, after the band played to a rowdy Wiltern crowd this fall to see what's next!
Ones To Watch: I’ve heard rumors of a sophomore album in the works. What can you tell us about the timeline for upcoming music?
Mt. Joy: Yes! We are really excited to get this music out there. We're in the mixing and mastering phase as of right now and are going to continue to roll out songs in the lead up to the whole album dropping.
How would you describe your goals for the next album?
I think just try to use it to connect with as many people as possible. We've been so fortunate to reach as many people as we have in just one record cycle, so I think whether it's radio, streaming, or just people coming and enjoying the live show, we are just trying to show people how much we've grown as musicians and writers, and hopefully that connects.
Would you say your new sound will continue to be more Americana, like "Rearrange Us?"
I think for the most part, yes, but it's definitely a more eclectic album than our first one sonically. Just getting to work with our producer Tucker Martine was amazing. He brought a whole new world of sounds to our music.
Do you have a favorite new track that you can tease?
There's a song called "My Vibe Your Vibe" that is probably the most fun/wacky song we've ever recorded. I think people are gonna enjoy that one.
On your first record, you mentioned how a song would begin from one person before bringing it to the group to find the final arrangement. Was the songwriting process any different this time around?
Yeah, I think for the most part that was the process here, but there were a couple tracks, like "Rearrange Us," where the arrangement that was brought in got totally transformed by the band in the studio in a really collaborative way.
You started touring only two years ago, but have already hit some of the biggest festivals in the world, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and ACL. How does the experience of playing those crowds, compare to playing on tour? Have you had a favorite show so far, and why?
Yeah, we've been lucky to play at some legendary festivals and venues. It's been a dream. I think in general playing to a lot of people is sort of the drug musicians are after, but ultimately for us, it's always more about the quality of the crowd. We've been fortunate to play some special shows to our own fans in all different size venues. The Fillmore in Philly and SF come to mind. Our Canada shows are always really special too.
This is your biggest headlining tour to date. Congrats! Headlining gives you a chance to experience a new dynamic with your closest fans. Has anything surprised you about your fan-base this tour?
This was our biggest for sure, and I think our fans definitely surprised us on this tour. Just to hear so many people singing every word to everything we play, it knocked us back a bit each night to hear that many people locked in.
Fans of all music genres can appreciate your lyrics because they are unrelentingly honest. Where do you find inspiration and clarity?
I really appreciate that. It's important to me to always try to be communicating something honest. I think I just grew up listening to honest songwriting: Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Paul Simon come to mind. Just feel like their words, however abstract, always brought you a little closer to understanding them. That's always felt like the pinnacle of songwriting… making an outsider understand someone or something they've never met or never experienced.
I always love to talk to our OTW bands about what they are listening to and loving right now, because musicians have their finger on the pulse. So, what music are you loving these days?
I'm a big fan of Kacey Musgraves, The Wild Reeds made an epic record, Vampire Weekend, and I thought the Local Natives record stood out this year as well!
Mt. Joy will be touring in the United States through February. Check them out and be ready for new music in 2020!