Hailing from the rich cultural breeding ground of Philadelphia, Joy Again is a quintet right at that vital point in their career between just starting out and truly figuring out their sound - in this… | watch
Justin and Ashley Morey found the key to a lasting marriage: start a band.
The couple writes catchy pop melodies with splashes of punk rock influences. They’re not just Mr. and Mrs. Morey anymore; they’re Sunshine & The Rain.
“I feel like it’s a lot different than the average person in a band relationship,” Ashley tells BTRtoday about being in a band with her husband. “It’s a great opportunity to explore a new side of things with the person that you love and it’s a very give and take/respectful artistic process.”
“It’s certainly challenging at times,” Justin adds. “We’ve gotten to a point where we trust each other enough in terms of opinions and what we a want to achieve—I can never feel terrible if Ash is like, ‘you fucked up and played like shit.’ I respect her and love her deeply enough that I know it’s not coming from a mean place.”
Their first full-length album came out just this May, entitled In The Darkness Of My Night. The fuzzed-out guitar riffs and minimalistic drum beats combined with Ashley’s flowing vocals are entrancing. The Moreys’ songs about feeling powerless, stagnant and frustrated create a relatable and intimate atmosphere that pulls any listener into their shoes.
“It’s definitely therapeutic, I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager,” Ashley says about writing lyrics. “Our partnership works really well—I’m able to do my release lyrically or with a basic melody and he [Justin] can add all the bedazzle to make it a fully formed/ beautiful song.”
She explains that In The Darkness Of My Night was written over a two year timeline. Many of the songs were first attempts at figuring out how they work together and what their style and sound should be.
“It was a new project for us so we wanted to do something different,” Justin says. “Leading up to the recording of that record we were still trying to figure out stuff, and it’s a really good documentation of where we were at that particular time.”
Justin explains that he’s always been drawn to music making. “When I first gravitated towards instruments I was really really young,” he says, adding that it was only until he discovered bands like The Ramones and The Sex Pistols that being a musician seemed like a possibility. “My approach [to music] has just been so genuine—it’s just absolute passion and love with no dollar signs attached to it.”
The duo doesn’t want to get pegged to one certain genre, so they’re constantly urging each other to explore new inspirations. Justin explains that it’s not just sharing new music with each other, but they’re also influenced by visuals, smells and trying out new instruments.
“For the next record we’re going to continue to develop and try to go out of our comfort zone, pushing the limits,” he says. “If you don’t like us now, you’re really not going to like us when this next batch of songs comes out.”
Tune in to this week’s The Music Meetup to hear the entire interview with Ashley and Justin Morey and to hear In The Darkness Of My Night in its entirety. Sunshine & The Rain will be playing September 23 for day two of the Indian Summer Music Festival in Asbury Park, NJ.
Settle down with Sunshine & The Rain.