Joy Kills Sorrow


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Some people prefer pop music that behaves like math: once a few familiar variables have been determined—female vocals or male? Acoustic guitar or electric? — the end result should be easy to predict, and always sound the same. That’s not the Joy Kills Sorrow method. This Boston-based string band favors a more unpredictable approach relying on musical chemistry and improvisation. Hence the title of their sophomore album, This Unknown Science.

All of the members have been touted as virtuosos, and they effortlessly hunt for unexpected outcomes and new discoveries. “We like experimenting and stretching boundaries,” explains guitarist Matthew Arcara, an acoustic player gaining a name for himself as both an up-and-coming guitar slinger and luthier. Arcara has taken home several honors at various guitar competitions including Winfield’s National Flatpicking Championship in 2006.