Last night, a massive announcement came out of Sacramento. The shoegaze band Fleeting Joys unleashed something new for the first time since December of 2012. Not a complete song, but a tease of one, and the promise that they’re working hard. They also finally mentioned a “new album”. No title or date yet, but we will certainly hope that there’s a late 2015/early 2016 release on the horizon.
The Sacramento band is centered around the husband-and-wife pair of John Loring (guitars, vocals) and Rorika Loring (bass, guitar, electronics, vocals). Their 2006 debut record Despondent Transponder set the shoegaze loving world on fire, and everybody was calling it Loveless part II and calling them “the next MBV”. The album went out of print within a month of its release, and a few more runs have been pressed since then. In 2009, they followed that magnificent album with their sophomore effort Occult Radiance. That second album was my introduction to the band, and while I certainly love that album, I got the privilege of finding the earth-shaking Despondent Transponder later.
Since 2009, there hasn’t been much news coming out of their camp. Sure, they’ve been playing live shows, but they’ve been tight-lipped about new stuff. Around Christmas of 2012, they stunned everyone with the video for their blistering new single “Kiss a Girl in Black” (listen here), and everyone started holding their collective breath about a new album. A few days later, they released the single as a digital standalone. At that point, they never promised or even suggested a new album, but it didn’t stop people (myself included) from predicting that Fleeting Joys would actually beat MBV to the punch on releasing a new record. We were all growing tired of the promises that Kevin Shields had been making about the Valentines’ third album m b v which was 22 years in the making. That album finally came out on February 2, 2013, but we were still hoping that a new Fleeting Joys record was coming soon. Since then, they’ve been dead silent. Occasional references to “working on new stuff” on the Fleeting Joys Facebook page, but never anything tangible.
Last night, I was ecstatic when I got the email from soundcloud that Fleeting Joys had posted a new song. As excited as I was, I was also preoccupied with the Habs/Sens playoff game, and didn’t get a chance to listen until just a couple of hours ago. And since then, I’ve listened to the 65 second snippet about a billion times.
Anyway, here’s 65 seconds of that song which we don’t even know the name of yet.
New Fleeting Joys song preview
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Everything about this. Yes.
Of course there’s the obvious “they sound like MBV” and their fellow Golden State shoegazers Medicine, but the members of Fleeting Joys also want you to know that they’re huge fans of the very early Cocteaus stuff. I read an interview from a few years back where they specifically mentioned the Cocteaus compilation album The Pink Opaque, which is essentially the best of the non-album stuff from 1982 to 1985. The Cocteaus put out a bunch of EPs back then with multiple alternate (and often superior) versions of songs which had been on their albums. Like the members of Fleeting Joys, my favorite Cocteaus era is 1982-85. Of course I have everything from their catalog, but for me, there’s a ranking that goes something like:
1b. The Spangle Maker EP
2. The rest of the EPs from the 1982-85 era
3. Heaven or Las Vegas
4. “Carolyn’s Fingers”
5. huge gap here
6. Everything else
I’ve never been able to hear any Cocteaus influence in their songs, but Fleeting Joys swears that the influence is there. There’s nothing at all wrong with being influenced heavily by and sounding a lot like MBV and Medicine. Back in the day, Medicine used to hate it when people compared them, and Shot Fort Self Living to MBV, but there’s no denying the similarities. Fleeting Joys doesn’t hide from or shy away from the comparisons. Instead, they embrace them.
There’s no word on when the “new album” will come out. No word on the name of the album. There’s not even any word on the name of tonight’s song. All of that is forthcoming. And I’ll be waiting with bated breath.