Dead Joyous is a project borne of the imagination of Kieran Clark (guitarist for Milo Gore). When he was diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder, he set about writing music as a form of art therapy. 109 songs later Clark has decided to release eleven of these songs as a mixtape under the banner Dead Joyous.
A mixtape is the right term for ‘It’s Been A Long Year’ as Clark seems to breeze through a collection of genres. From the almost goth punk of tracks like opener ‘Work Horse’, ‘We’re Coarse’ to indie jangle ‘Rookie’ and the beautiful soundscape of ‘Don’t Panic’, Dead Joyous covers a collection of styles throughout this release. While there may be no unifying theme in terms of music, lyrically it covers the multitude of reasons that the album got its title. Covering topics such as adapting to their mental health, losing friendships and a change in view of the world, it was never going to be an easy ride but it’s a rewarding one.
Having been recorded in a bedroom and mixed on a car stereo and with phone headphones, this album is beautifully lo-fi in places. This bedroom production style makes ‘It’s Been A Long Year’ feel personal and lends a certain charm to the album. Given that there are still 98 songs still out there, it will be very exciting to see what else Dead Joyous have left in their arsenal. It may have been a long year but at least it’s given us Dead Joyous.