If you were lucky enough to have caught South London trio Happyness in one of their support slots for Slow Club in February or JAWS at the start of March then you’ll know what a great band they are. I managed to catch them at their gig at Queen’s Social Club in Sheffield and they looked rather like 3 scruffy teens practising in their bedrooms. However, looks can be deceptive and it’s a testament to their writing and playing that the crowd at the gig stayed for the whole of their set, which perfectly showcased why they are being hailed as the next big things. See our review of that gig here.
They’ve recently revealed the first single for Moshi Moshi Records off the repackaged ‘Weird Little Birthday’ album and it’s the excellent ‘A Whole New Shape’. If you can imagine power pop channelled through a Pavement / Wilco / Sparklehorse fuzzbox then you’ve just about got the sound.
Happyness have had a bit of a whirlwind 2014, making NME’s Best Newcomers list, The Sunday Times Best Albums of The Year, gaining some attention stateside and signing to Moshi Moshi Records in the UK and Bar None Records in the States.
‘A Whole New Shape’ is out on March 30th and comes as part of the album re-packaging, released the same day, which adds an extra 4 tracks. The band have just finished touring with Slow Club and JAWS and will be heading off to the SxSW Festival and a US Tour in March and April. I’m fairly sure that the Americans will dig their sound as it sits right in the same groove inhabited by the lo-fi giants of the last 20 years like Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Wilco.
New (well, repackaged) record, ’Weird Little Birthday’ is a concept album about a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus Christ and eventually is driven insane with jealousy and contains some of the best song titles you will ever come across, like ‘Baby Jesus (Jelly Boy)’, ‘Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste the Same’ and ‘Pumpkin Noir’. It was largely recorded in the band’s own Jelly Boy Studios and was mixed by Adam Lasus who has worked with Yo La Tengo and it shows.
Ignore the hype, Happyness may actually be the next big thing. You can get their new album ‘Weird Little Birthday’ and new single ‘A Whole New Shape’ both on March 30th and if you don’t then you’re only got yourself to blame!