The Chicago music scene is certainly an interesting one and over the years has produced a variety of different artists from nearly every genre. One artist you might find playing at a local bar cheering up local bar patrons is singer-songwriter Laura Joy. Her approach to music would be described as a minimalist, as she writes her own songs and simply needs her own acoustic guitar to make music. Joy has played at music festivals across the midwest over the past few years and plays a minimum of 50 shows per year. On March 5 she came out with a new EP titled Between Our Words. The lead single from that EP is “Takes A While” and today I’m going to take a look at it.
Right away you’ll notice the playing of her acoustic guitar drives the rhythm of this song, along with the drums. It’s kept quite simple and to me that’s just fine. Too many songs nowadays are drowned out by terrible, overproduced instrumentation. Less is more, as I always say. Joy’s vocals are precise, crisp and smooth. I can see why her voice and approach have been compared to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Alison Krauss. I can definitely sense the similarities. Joy pulls off spoken word well in this song too.
“Takes A While” is a song about life. In the opening lyrics it talks about how life can feel so slow and it seems hard to see the big picture. But as we all learn throughout life you simply learn more with each step and it takes a while to see life for what it is. In the middle of the song Joy sings about babies, jobs and lovers, subjects we all deal with. She seems exasperated taking it all in, but reminds herself once again life is long:
“take a break take a break take a break / take in the view / everything you give comes back to you / and are these actual miles? / step by step it takes a while”
So by the end of the song the lesson learned is that you just need to enjoy life to the fullest every day and that all you give will eventually come back to you. It’s a great and true message.
Joy’s brand of indie folk music on display in “Takes A While” is intriguing and exploratory. The lyrics really make the listener think about the message being said and even reflect on their own life. The instrumentation is upbeat and pleasing to the ears, which makes it easy for listeners to consume. Of course you can’t forget Joy’s vocals, which to me are her biggest asset. I think she knows this too, as her voice is front and center on the song. If you’re into singer-songwriter, indie folk type music I would definitely recommend checking “Takes A While” out.
Photo Courtesy: laurajoymusic.com