As siren of the experimental rock band Moon Honey, Jess Joy cast a spell over audiences, leaving them with the feeling they were spending a few minutes in an adult fairy tale with an otherworldly soundtrack — heightened by her imaginative work as a costume and stage designer. In short, performance art that rocked.
Since Moon Honey bade goodbye in 2019, the L.A.-based native of Louisiana has embarked on a solo mission, and today she announced that her debut album “Patreearchy” will be out April 16 via Joyful Noise. The album was produced by Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, who piloted Moon Honey’s breakup EP in 2019.
The single “Bless Your Name” is a challenging and apt introduction to Joy’s distinct pop — rhythmically complex and wound with warbling vocal acrobatics, it unravels to reveal a sublime chorus. As is often the case with the songwriter, the theme is spiritual.
Joy teams up with choreographer and mime Youngtseng in the video, filmed by Nicky Giraffe.
“I wanted to make a video that depicted the roots of my shame, tracing back to Christian teachings of my childhood,” Joy says. “I grew up on stories of ‘the original sin’ (Eve as the original sinner, eating the fruit from the tree of good and evil), the forgiveness of sin (Jesus dying on the cross) and the self-fulfilling punishments of being bad (Eve discovering her nakedness and being kicked out the garden, Judas hanging himself for having handed Jesus over for 30 silver coins). In these seemingly harmless stories, I internalized that women should be ashamed of their bodies, desires and decisions. I exalted the martyrdom of Jesus Christ, someone who would take on the sins of the whole world and free us from our shame. In the video, I treat my guitar as my cross to show my attempt to sublimate sin through the emotional labor of music.”
||| Watch: the video for “Bless Your Name”