South London trio Happyness have just released their self produced debut LP Weird Little Birthday, and if you’re looking for one of those almost melancholic yet chilled collections, then this may be just the ticket.
Having recently concluded a UK tour and with plans to visit the US later this year, this is an LP which is already making waves.
The album has been described as dealing with the morning after, as well as the night before – and yet it opens with such youthful exuberance.
Naked Patients has a beat that ticks along wonderfully, delivering the kind of ‘feel good’ vibe you just want to share with your mates on those hazy and lazy summer days…. And even lazier summer evenings. Think Foster The People and you’re not too far away from where this track wants to take you.
The gloriously titled Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same is another enthralling and catchy track which only reinforces the feeling that we’re dealing with a band who are bursting with promise. A slight change of direction as Ed Harcourt features with vocals on Pumpkin Noir works very well indeed as the album seeming unfolds to reveal itself as the perfect bag of tricks – a bright, hazy collection of colour – chilled but delivered with a sense of humour.
But whilst the first half of the album is brimming with joyful bliss, the second half tends to walk away – almost sulking – in a direction almost all of it’s own.. And it was going so well.
Not that a directional change or a slight drop in tone is necessarily a bad thing, of course. But in this case the final six tracks serve as quite a contradiction to the previous six. Again, nothing wrong with contradiction I hear you say – and I would fully agree, but my point is highlighted rather well by track 7, Weird Little Birthday Girl. Here we find a track which is nine minutes in length – when we think of such length we reminisce over the likes of Blur’s Tender and expect the same level of captivation. To do so in this case (as I did) would be a mistake. To put it bluntly, well… It just drags on a bit – to the point where you’re contemplating hitting skip because what you’re now listening to feels more like filler as opposed to the continued exploration of sound which was diverse up to this point. Perhaps this wouldn’t be such an issue if some of the album’s more catchy and exciting offerings were more than a mere two minutes long – begging the question why a 12 track album? Why not a less confusing (and more to the point) 10?
Weird Little Birthday is one of those difficult to explain compilations. As an announcement it works well. It’s purpose is to ask rather than to tell – but that’s just fine because having heard it, I desperately want to hear more before I make up my mind on this curiously intriguing trio. And let’s be honest… You can’t say fairer than that when it comes to a debut album!
Check out the superb Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same!