Mixing her diverse influences from alternative rock to shoegaze and grunge, NY-based singer/songwriter/producer Joyce Tratnyek released her debut record Solastalgia on the 7th of January 2023. Described by Tratnyek as “Solastalgia is a longing for something unreachable, and while most often a physical place, it can also be born from the ache for a person, or a feeling” , Solastalgia is an interesting musical journey that you don’t want to miss. Let me tell you more about it.
Joyce Tratnyek opened Solastalgia with The Cold Will Last Forever, a dark gloomy tune with beautiful heartfelt melodies and a captivating atmospheric sound that totally fits its name. She cleverly mixes different electronic elements while using her expressive vocals to deliver the perfect emotions, creating a sound experience that encourages the listeners to move forward deeper into the record. Just Goodnight adds a warm acoustic sound to Tratnyek’s mix, showing a different side of her writing and the way she creatively handles her tools to reach the desired destination. It has a mellow structure with a slowly cooked progression and a smooth flow, slowly carrying the listeners throughout the song’s escalating sound. With a more energetic pace and old-school alternative influences, Fault Line hits next shaking the record’s dynamics off with its catchy vocal melody and a groovy beat that brings back alternative rock’s authentic essence and organic structure to life. Parallel steers the record’s sound again into a softer and more emotional one while borrowing some elements from its predecessor, giving Joyce Tratnyek‘s direction more shape and form as her writing skills shine brighter with more detailed arrangements and layering that organically created a structure that’s filled with interesting twists and turns. Do You Think Of Me? hits with a groovy flow and a fuzzy doomy sound that instantly grabbed my attention, cementing Tratnyek’s deeply emotional approach while introducing new elements that keep her sound fresh and interesting. Reaching Listening Listening and Hopeless, I started getting more and more into her unique soundscapes seeking more heart-hitting melodies and touching mixes and that’s definitely what I’ve got, all in moving structures that kept me on board and totally following her words and multi-layered sound. Lavender Snow builds on its predecessors’ sound and flow while adding a dreamy layer to their mix, introducing a more touching texture that creates a deep connection with the listeners. MIA takes us back into an acoustic-driven direction with soothing vocals and an open sound, slowly and steadily pushing forward towards a bigger and richer sound as electric, fuzzy lines join in. The Blue and Red Jacket brings the classic alternative vibes back, with a melody that reminded me of icons like Alanis Morissette and a spacey modern touch that pulls it closer to Joyce Tratnyek‘s world. Bored comes next, boosting the record’s energy with dynamic riffs painted with Tratnyek’s fuzzy signature, getting the listeners moving with its alive and actively changing flow. The Watershed has a mysterious dark mood that I’d like to see how it’ll develop as this version is just a demo, acting like a resting point before getting into the rest of the record. Moon Tattoo and January Sunshine follow that sweet nostalgic 90s sound once again, showing Joyce Tratnyek‘s solid influences and her clever writing skills in the way she used them and mixed them with her character producing a sound that’s her own, matching the record’s streaming flow and warm sound. As we’re getting closer to the end of Solastalgia, June Thunderstorms comes with heart-hitting melodies and a beautiful atmosphere, introducing a new twist to the vocals with a sweet narrative section that communicates with the listeners on a whole new level making them experience the lyrics deeply and sincerely. Angry Ghost comes with powerful piano melodies and overwhelming synths that lead its escalating sound, slowly taking you higher as you close your eyes and pay attention to its growing sound that strengthens its mood. The Blue and Red Jacket and The Cold Will Last Forever’s acoustic versions close the record on a high note, showing Joyce Tratnyek‘s deep alternative rock roots and her solid writing as those versions kept the original mood intact while giving a different taste, giving a hint of her capabilities and skills.
Solastalgia is an enjoyable journey by Joyce Tratnyek that demonstrates her well-knowledge of her sound and direction as she steers between different approaches while keeping her character uncompromised, delivering a sincere sound and flow that easily connects to her listeners. Looking forward to more, keep on rocking. Cheers!