Joyce Island album release party at the Media Club

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The first time I met local songstress Lisa Joyce, she was in her natural element: singing acoustically with her guitar on her lap. We were both attending “Nu Grass”, a (now defunct) weekly night organized by local musicians (including members of Black Mountain and Lightening Dust) who would gather in John Rogers Park to sing traditional folk songs. While I’m not exactly a musical person, I was struck and inspired by the joyfulness and ease Lisa exuded while she performed alongside the group. In the years since our musical meet up, I’ve seen her Lisa perform on several stages around town, both big and small. Yet the one thing that’s consistent is the uplifting energy she puts out when she’s singing. (It’s no surprise that she’s also a vocal instructor.) That will likely be evident when she takes the stage at the Media Club,  under her stage name Joyce Island, for her album release party on April 19. I recently spoke about what it’s like to be a singer/songwriter in Vancouver.

On her creative process

I’m a lonewolf nature weirdo so I like going off on hikes in the mountains by myself, getting inspired by the mega abundance of fresh oxygen and trees and bird and stuff.  And sometimes I get scared about the possibility of being eaten alive by a bear, which makes for good existential life questioning, and there’s lots of that on my album.

On her favourite local venues

I love the Railway Club because it’s intimate, the stage is tiny, and there’s no separation between you and the audience. It’s where I played my first show so it holds a special place in my heart.

The Electric Owl is a rad venue too. Great sound, nice spacious room and it’s a short walk from home. Also, I can pop by the Cobalt and catch a friend’s show afterwards if I’m lucky.

The Media Club is a fun bar to play. I’ve seen so many great shows there over the years, so it’s very nostalgic for me.

On Vancouver

I love this city. Especially my neighborhood of East Van.

I love people watching, but pretending I’m not people watching and drinking way too much espresso in the local coffee shops near my apartment, and then going home, locking myself inside and writing songs like a mad woman.

I like bike riding everywhere – preferably when it’s not raining-  running into pals I know in the neighborhood and giving lots of hi-fives. It’s a small enough city that it feels very community-like and there’s always someone you know walking down the street. And when I just wanna be alone and get some good song ideas percolating, I bike the seawall, which is super exhilarating and helps me burn off that espresso high.

Joyce Island plays the Media Club on April 19
695 Cambie St(604) 608-2871
Tickets are $10, $15 if you want an album included.
Doors are at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. 
 

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