Written by Margaret Cooper
Hailing from southwestern Connecticut, Tales of Joy includes Connor Taylor (guitar); Jason Joya (lead vocals, keys); Hector Ares (bass, vocals); Emmet Forester (percussion, vocals); and Matt Spencer (drums). A self-proclaimed reggae band with a mission “to unite people through the power of creation and positive energy,” the group delivers a unique sound which challenges the boundaries of traditional reggae music.
Wonder Lady, the quintet’s second release, does an excellent job of balancing a number of musical styles while still delivering a consistent, danceable beat. Drawing inspiration from reggae, disco, soul, funk, and latin, the end result is a sultry combination of smooth vocals alongside a solid foundation of groove. From sexy opener “Bad Girl” to the reggae-infused “Fighting for Your Love,” each song flows along with an effortless passion. Composed of only five tracks, the EP covers a remarkable amount of ground in a relatively short time. “Fly Away” features a strong latin influence while title track “Wonder Lady” is a funky foray into the band’s soul sensibilities. “Shadows” is an irresistibly catchy, soul pop ballad perfect for a shower singalong.
With a sound reminiscent of times past, Wonder Lady brings back memories of big hair, scrunchies, Mac Tonight, and corded phones. Blending modern inclinations with 80’s nostalgia, Tales of Joy have captured the essence of pop with their upbeat and incredibly fun EP. Unapologetically smooth, Wonder Lady is the perfect album for a night on the town or a night in with someone special. (Dancing shoes are highly recommended).
Catch Tales of Joy in Connecticut this fall as they wind down after their east coast summer. More details on their website.