Mt. Joy started off as a rekindling of shared musical ambitions between Philadelphia high school friends Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar) and Sam Cooper (guitar). Reunited in Los Angeles thanks to the ebbs and flows of adult life, the pair met multi-instrumentalist Michael Byrnes through a Craigslist ad. They named themselves Mt. Joy as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam’s childhood home, and together, with Byrnes’ roommate Caleb Nelson producing, they recorded three songs and sent them out into the world, hoping for the best.
Much to the band’s amazement their song Astrovan accomplished the impossible. Without initial promotion or fanfare, the song took off on Spotify, racking up five million streams to date. “The irony of Astrovan was that the song was really about being stuck in a life and wanting to have the opportunity to pursue a dream, and in an instant it gave us that opportunity.” Quinn says. Mt. Joy quickly transitioned from a part-time calling into a full-fledged band rounded out by Byrnes on bass, Sotiris Eliopoulos on drums and Jackie Miclau on keyboard.
Come 2017, Mt. Joy hit the road, and hit it hard. They played tour dates alongside the likes of The Shins, The Head and The Heart, The Lone Bellow, and Whitney, and popped up at some of summer’s biggest festivals, including Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and Made In America. They eventually caught the attention of Dualtone Records and began work on their debut album.