Premiere: Joyful. single ‘Big Funeral’ a poignant exploration of moving on

Joyful. addresses changed relationships and final moments in its second single release

While quarantine has us locked down away from friends and family right now, for some it may feel like we’ll never see each other again. But we know it’s temporary and once restrictions are lifted, many of us will jump to see non-pixelized versions of each other again. 

Another reality, however, is that some relationships will have been so changed that some reunions will be short-lived, if they take place at all. 

Joyful. addresses that in today’s release of the new single “Big Funeral.” According to Jake Newling, the band’s drummer, it had been written by lead vocalist Andy Hilligoss before the band’s creation with Newling and bassist Will Garza late last summer. And even though the funeral of the title looms large in the universe of the song, a sadly comforting and nostalgic piece, it’s more a symbol than anything else. 

“It’s more about the death of a friendship or even a relationship,” Newling said. “Or it could even be anything like a job or something that unexpectedly just disappears from you and there’s really nothing you can do.” 

The song, which starts off with a reunion of sorts and carries through shared reminiscence of happier moments, conjures a visual of two friends leaning into a conversation. 

Do you remember when we were 17
Too young to know 
We were getting ready for the big funeral

“(Andy) wrote those lyrics a while back, but I know between the time that we recorded it and now a lot of weird (expletive) has happened. In the world and in our personal lives,” Newling said. “So it feels really cathartic. It just feels like the right song to put out at this point.”

While maybe not specifically about our current quarantine times, it’s certainly relevant for an era when many of us are feeling isolated, when some of us are wondering if the last time we saw certain people may actually be the last time we see them. The second single from Joyful. explores that idea without judgement. 

“Everybody’s kind of going through their own things, so people are pulling away, people are locking up,” he said. “I think that this is one of those songs, this is maybe the perfect time for it. … This is just where we are right now.”


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