Joywave, the indie rock band hailing from Rochester, New York, are masters in the self-referential. A few notable instances include, but are not limited to, releasing an entire album containing only the same repeated single with varying intros, naming said album the original album title of Kanye’s Life of Pablo (SWISH), and releasing a music video of said repeated single with the title “Live at Woodstock ‘99.” “Doubt,” the fourth single ahead of their upcoming album, Content, contains all of Joywave’s hallmark knack for the self-referential, but sees them using it to explore their current state as a band in a more profound sense.
“Doubt” opens in quintessential Joywave fashion–a powerful electric guitar lead, dark backing synths, and lead singer Daniel Armbruster’s casual, almost talkative vocal stylings. The song in and of itself is a shining exemplar of the splendor that can come from blending elements of electronica, indie rock, and indie pop, but the real brilliance behind “Doubt” lies within its lyricism. “Doubt” is a track that makes no attempts to hide its underlying meaning, from the title to every uttered, chosen word, this is a song about dealing with self-doubt.
The song opens on a seemingly resigned Daniel opting to be freed from the burden of choice and making subtle reference to the infamous Wall Street of Cash of 1929. The song continues in somber fashion with a commanding chorus reiterating a battle against the notion that maybe a simple day job would have been for the best. The entirety of “Doubt” reverberates of a band questioning if all their choices up until now have been the right ones. It’s an authentic and powerful exploration of their journey that pulls no punches in attempting to glamorize itself, and in many ways, that is what makes “Doubt” so attractive. “Doubt” is the rare breed of song that wears its heart on its sleeve, allowing listeners to feel an immediate and sincere connection within Joywave’s own doubt.
Listen to “Doubt” below and keep an eye out for Joywave’s sophomore album, Content, due out July 28.