Happyness940

IT’S been three-years since alternative outfit Happyness became our favourite dejected youngsters with 2014’s ‘Weird Little Sister’, and now as the Londoners return with ‘In Write’ the adolescent euphoria has become mature beauty.

Whereas previously Happyness were about dysfunctional lyrics and sobering melodies, the space now filled by the trio represents something closer to the outcome of a cheerless experiment between Elliot Smith and Brian Wilson.

Opening with ‘Falling Down’ the sun-crushed beauty of an American highway is alluded to through waves of low-fi muffles and brittle guitars. It feels as if the Beach Boys had come to life in 2017. And it’s that 60s infused song writing that really makes ‘In Write’ so twistedly perfect. ‘The Reel Starts Again [Man as Ostrich]’ places emphasis on eloquent passages of emotive words, where once was provocative lyrics. ‘Through Winds’ is the album’s most infectious pop nugget, with its slowly hypnotic call and response vocals that rise above waves of harsh synths.

An ever-present throughout every release from Happyness is a strong sense of musicianship. ‘Uptrend_Style Raids’ could easily have been a Television track. The cheeky guitar line that crosses the border between folk and prog helps the track erupt through a dreamlike chorus. ‘Bigger Glass Less Full’ chaotic, but hinted with the fierceness of a Van Morrison composition. It’s fuzzy and fucking electric.

The album carries the dream on. ‘The C Is A B A G’ is a wonderful track that builds into ‘Tunnel Vision Your Part’ – both nodding to tracks associated with Soft Hearted Scientists.

This is a coming of age release that detaches itself deftly from what was once perceived of Happyness. Here they have become giants, where once they were shy lads. They have found their voice – it’s just not as deranged as we’ve become accustomed too.

MORE

BLOSSOMS, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
FOR many the last few years have absolutely flown by. Election after election, tragedy after tragedy, humane coming together of community, solidarity, Iceland, the year of the celebrity death, Pokemon Go. Too much to remember. Yet for four lads, who unbeknownst to them spent the whole of their lives living within 2km of each other, […]
NICK MULVEY, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
“WHEN you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” is how the antiquated adage from founding father Benjamin Franklin goes. That ability to be flexible and change when the time is right. Hundreds of years-ago that famous line was uttered, but it’s never felt more relevant, and for former modern-jazz-turned-songwriter-come-newly-christened-father Nick Mulvey, changing and maturing has always been […]
JOE INNES & THE CAVALCADE, FOREIGN DOMESTIC POLICY, INTERVIEW
“You know with this climate at the minute everything is changing,” London-based Joe Innes tell Quenched Music. With his new album ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ taking years to finally arrange, it’s hardly surprising it’s become a labour of love for the self-confessed post-Brexit indie songwriter. “It took it’s time but that’s because in the time I […]
COMMON PEOPLE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
AS THE final stragglers danced their way from the Common People main stage, the filthy sounds of favourite headliner Sean Paul still ringing around the ears, it was time for the organisers to reflect on how successful this year’s festival was. 40,000 flocked to Southampton’s Common in anticipation of yet another Bank Holiday jaunt on […]
SIMPLE MINDS, MAYFLOWER THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
IN SIMPLE terms the word ‘acoustic’ means not having electrical amplification. But as Glaswegian new-wave act Simple Minds triumphantly demonstrated to a packed house at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, definitions are subjective. You would be forgiven for expecting longstanding Minds members Jim Kerr, the idyllic vocalist and endearing frontman since the group first formed in 1977, […]
CARELESS PEOPLE, CHARLOTTE OC, ALBUM, RECORDED
FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]