Joyce Manor’s fifth full-length effort, Million Dollars to Kill Me is available now. The album follows 2016’s critically lauded release Cody.
Produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, Million Dollars to Kill Me came to life at Ballou’s own GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts. During the recording process, Joyce Manor guitarist/vocalist Barry Johnson, guitarist Chase Knobbe, bassist Matt Ebert, and new drummer Pat Ware slept right upstairs in bunk beds. “Kinda felt like camp,” Johnson notes. Additionally, Million Dollars to Kill Me was mixed by Andrew Scheps (Weezer, AFI, Green Day).
While Cody focused on growing up, Million Dollars to Kill Me looks at what happens next: reckonings with love, money, doubt, confusion, and the hope that persists despite it all. Throughout the album, Joyce Manor augment that tension with their layered guitar work: Knobbe’s uncommon ability to make songs sound sadder and tougher at the same time, Johnson’s flair for mixing minor and major chords to invoke a precise kind of overpowering melancholy.
Co-founded by Johnson and Knobbe in L.A.’s South Bay, Joyce Manor released their self-titled first album in 2011. The band made their Epitaph Records debut with Never Hungover Again, a 2014 effort that Pitchfork hailed as “their most ambitious and diverse album, as weird as it is instantly enjoyable.”