Happyness - 'Weird Little Birthday'

The south London trio's debut mixes slacker sounds with arch lyrics to create a lo-fi gem

  • Release Date 16 Jun, 2014
  • Producer Happyness
  • Record Label Weird Smiling
8 / 10
London trio Happyness might have adapted their sonic template from American college/indie rock bands like Pavement, Rilo Kiley and Sparklehorse, but the wit and lyrical context of their music is all British. Songs on this impressive debut album are lovely but droll; equally capable of making you feel fuzzy and anxious. “There’s something funny about a sick body and the things that it does that it shouldn’t do,” begins ‘Naked Patients’ and ‘Orange Luz’ has an equally diverting opening: “You are so ugly when you’re smiling.” They’re dry and clever, taking inspiration from the weird and disturbing left turns in the writing of Cormac McCarthy to create songs that somehow express a deep sense of youthful ennui. “My TV dinner is almost done,” sings frontman Benji Compston blankly in ‘Pumpkin Noir’, which sounds more ‘Loaded’-era Velvet Underground than slacker, “Going to a club in an unfriendly part of town.” Ultra-lo-fi, but an album nonetheless stuffed full of rich melodies and arch lyrical observations.

Phil Hebblethwaite

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