From weird little birthdays to tunnel vision, Happyness are back with a new EP! The aforementioned ‘Weird Little Birthday’ donned a lot of suave, unique potential with a likeable basic rock flare, and a lot of kookiness to go with it. On new EP, ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’, the band don’t necessarily shed themselves of said kookiness, they sound more laid back with similarities sans kookiness and the right amount of moodiness without getting too repetitive, basically the opposite of a music reviewer who uses the word ‘kookiness’ three times in an opening paragraph.
The song ‘Anna, Lisa Calls’ opens the EP, already showcases the breathy aloofness of the vocal delivery with the instant eponymous lyric bellowing through without any strenuous melodrama. It also showcases the similarly aloofness of the instrumentation. ‘Aloofness’ has pretty much replaced ‘kookiness’ on this release. But enough joking, what the EP lacks in whimsy it makes up for with a really solid, compelling stylistic approach. The opener is eventually and evidently chilled, as is the third track, the gorgeously lush ‘SB’s Truck’, which serves as somewhat of a throwback to ‘90s alternative rock, like something from Pavement’s ‘Slanted and Enchanted’ but with higher production values.
‘Surfer Girl’ is also pretty lovely, very calm, painting the picture it wants to portray; an ocean with a mild tide. It’s flavourful, with a lot of chilled out, cooler box sustainability. Closing the EP is the title track, an emotive, six-minute near-epic that swamps and kneels with a simple but sweet I-V-IV-V chord progression. The final three tracks make for a genuinely nice listen, it seems as though Happyness are at their best with expressively sad songs, it’s their forte, their calling. ‘Anna, Lisa Calls’ and ‘Friend of the Revolution’ don’t pack the mightiest of punches, but the songs that follow really do. They’re easy to listen to, and they sound very genuine.
If ‘Weird Little Birthday’ allowed us to see the potential in Happyness, then ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’ is about more than just potential, it’s about glaringly-likeable progress, and that is a fine thing indeed.
‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’ is out on the 23rd September 2016 via Moshi Moshi Records
This Happiness article was written by Ben Malkin, a GIGsoup contributor