Stepping into the forefront of her own solo career, musician, multimedia artist and Louisiana native, Jess Joy finds a striking balance between artistic movement and musical oneness. Joy pens and performs “permanent heaven,” her newest single that while also be featured on her upcoming debut album, ’PATREEARCHY,’ produced by Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, set for release April 16, 2021 via Joyful Noise. “Permanent heaven” takes us through the struggle and power dynamics in heteronormative gender role relationships. Exploring the boundaries of these stereotypes and eventually breaking free from them, the new song creates a narrative and performative manifestation of the frustrations that arise from such a dynamic. The single itself is a deeply moving piece of music. Euphonic instrumentals meet the piercing reverberating vocals of Joy, who pours her heart out into the emotional lyrics.
“The song “permanent heaven” is about the very human desire to go home (to feel happy and whole) and the grasping to make those feelings last forever when they do come,” shares Joy. “Living in Los Angeles, I often see that grasping happening around fame and the hoarding of wealth – the celebrities that dominate the industry live in the hills, and everyone else lives in the metaphorical valleys. When I began working on the music video, I was processing power dynamics in relationships and my own experience of participating in and eventually resisting patriarchal, heronormative gender roles that place the value of a man’s opinions and work above a woman’s. I wanted to portray the journey from a honeymoon period in a relationship to the power struggle I’ve fought when I began thinking for myself. My friend Davis who I met in a corporeal mime class assisted me in developing the choreography. I wore my mother’s wedding dress from her marriage to my father in the 80’s. “
The accompanying self-directed music video features another movement artist (the aforementioned Davis) in a choreography of love and hate. In between the contrast, we catch Joy in little moments of solitude, contemplating the valleys and peaks of her relationship dynamics. Together, Joy and her dancing partner move together in a beautiful synchronicity and then come apart in agonizing tension. The delicate balance and transition of each is as effortless as the stoke of an artist’s brush and reminiscent of some of Kate Bush’s movement art and music.
Formerly of Moon Honey, Joy is known for her performance art, distinct vocals and elaborate stage wear. From adorning herself in a mother butterfly type outfit to a swooning moon themed headdress, Joy has always found a way to express herself on stage. Now, finding herself again in this new work, she shows yet another side of herself as an artist whose art and life often intertwine.
Words: Patti Sanchez
Jess Joy and Greg Saunier will host a ’PATREEARCHY‘ listening party on on Friday, April 2nd at 5pm PST including unreleased music videos and a Q&A session. For more on Jess Joy and her music, make sure to visit her website or follow her on social media.