Joie De Vivre

We're All Better Than This

Written by: DR on 10/02/2013 19:45:44

"We all die alone" cries Joie De Vivre vocalist Brandon Lutmer in what is one of the most startling opening ten seconds of any record released in 2012. "So why care so much about living with someone else? / Maybe it's because I'm getting older that I don't understand", he continues. The recent hiatus Joie De Vivre took has seemingly unearthed Lutmer's insecurities, not only in that song but the majority of the record. But that's the charm of "We're All Better Than This": it's not an emo record about just heartbreak; it deals with the insecurities of being a twenty-something who is still not quite sure what he wants out of life. And for those of us in a similar position, this is likely to a record you take to heart like few others.

Lines such as "I've stopped looking ahead in my life / Just constantly tracing back from where I've been", "I wanted to become a writer" and "I'd never call myself fucking secure" astutely capture those insecurities and failures, and are then delivered affectingly by Lutmer, who puts in the most relatable performance from a vocalist/lyricist I've heard in quite some time.

Of course, for all its strengths lyrically, it still needs to be good musically. All of the components are there, though, to make "We're All Better Than This" one of the quintessential emo releases in recent years: the noodling guitars are as impressive as any of their scene-mates'; despite the vocals breaking as they strain, a la Mineral, they're convincing enough in their delivery to offset the occasional lapse in tune; the cameos from Keith Latinen (Count Your Lucky Stars, Empire! Empire! (IWALE) and Lindsay Milton (Football, etc.) are well-judged - the latter actually has a more prominent role, featuring in many of the songs to add a great male/female balance to the melodies; hell, there's even the frequent use of horn instruments to good effect, right out of American Football's playbook.

It's an all round great emo record, yet it only lasts for 27 minutes. The songs are all short and sweet - bursts of infectious yet introspective emo that hit you right in the feels and then leave, leaving you wanting more. Each song seems to have one really great hook that keeps you coming back. Most of all, though, arguably more than most records in the genre, it's a personal record. What I mean is, if this record connects with you - if the anxieties confessed and yearnings for past summers mentioned resonate with you - then the positivity and resilience shown towards the end will, too, and it will earn a place in your heart like few other records. And that's the most important point of "We're All Better Than This": for all the self-doubt and self-deprecation, Joie De Vivre have been there and come out the other side - fighting. We can, too. "Could I do better? / I think I can / I know I have, and I will".


Download: At Least I Tried, I Was Sixteen Ten Years Ago, High School Me Would Have Been Pumped
For The Fans of: Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), Mineral, Dowsing, Football, etc., American Football
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 14.06.2012
Count Your Lucky Stars

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