There is a specific kind of music that seems to be engineered to be a gift to the listener, but in a totally disinterested way. The whole career of Damian Kathkuda might be viewed in this light, to be honest. Here Comes Joy is just another beautiful instalment in an immaculate path of gentle, thoughtful tunes, immersed in sober, collective arrangements.
Born in the years of the Wilkommen Collective, The Mostar Diving Club shares much in terms of style (‘Run To The River’, ‘Lost At Sea’), but has evolved to a more mature and warmer ambience, where Damian croons pensively and compassionately. Songs sound elusive, like a slight breeze you can’t really direct, with all these ephemeral arrangements appearing and disappearing in the background (‘Nobody Remained’). Even in their greatest ruckus (the marching ‘Busy Doing Nothing’), the songs sound fragile, as if scared to disturb a neighbour.
Damian’s songwriting is perhaps less direct than in the past (‘If You Love Her’ sounds like a Ben Gibbard’s song), yet the record retain pure moments of emotional drive, that blossom unexpectedly out of seemingly dormant songs (‘Lovely Bones’).
To sum it up, Here Comes Joy is another window to a better world, something a few artists can claim to have made.
Words: Lorenzo Righetto