Joy Bishop is no stranger to change and expresses that in her music as Joy Downer. She embraces it with wide-open arms and wants to encourage the world to do the same.
Though her debut album Paper Moon was finished before the protests across the nation exploded, Bishop uses her musical call for change to embolden the justice marchers—donating 100 percent of her release day proceeds on Bandcamp to Black Lives Matter LA.
“Just [go] with the change,” she tells BTRtoday. “[Be] open to change, because change is inevitable.”
Bishop has evolved since she first started making music. Currently, she lives in the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles where she says she’s extra sensitive to the many different energies of the people that surround her in the city. However, the environment she grew up in was vastly different. Bishop was raised Mormon on a farm in Jamul, Calif. with her nine brothers and sisters. Though she has since ended her personal ties with the Mormon church, she still credits her love for music to the religion.
“Music was at the center of everything that felt really lovely about the Mormon church,” she says. “I’d go to church with my family and singing hymns was a big part of it and performing on the piano and at home—everybody learned an instrument and would be busting out harmonies with all their family members and singing just to boost morale.”
She eventually left to travel the world as an international fashion model before settling down in LA and buckling down on her project Joy Downer with her husband Jeffery Downer. Though she’s no longer Mormon, she still is very much involved with her Mormon family. She still attends important religious benchmarks like baptisms and blessings and even sampled voicemails from her parents in her album.
Joy Downer, “Paper Moon”
Paper Moon is a shimmering burst of layered melodies and intricate instrumentation. Breathy vocals add a level of comfort for listeners and honest and melancholic lyrics are also surrounded by a powerful air of hopefulness and romance.
“The idea of a ‘paper moon’ is that you can believe anything is real as long as you believe it enough,” she says. “In reality, it could be actually a paper moon and you think that it’s the [real] moon.”
Listen to the entire interview with Joy Bishop of Joy Downer and Paper Moon in its entirety on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.