Album Review: Happyness – Write In

Apparently, today is an international day of happiness? But as far as we’re concerned, today is the international day of Happyness, but we found out too late to declare it any earlier… It’s been awhile since South London trio, Happyness released their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Weird Little Birthday’, but they’re back with their sophomore album ‘Write In’ which is set for release on 7th April via Moshi Moshi. The band have just played SXSW and are about to embark on a huge UK/European tour from April.

unnamedIt’s a melancholic, introduction with gloomy strummed guitars that builds into something quite huge… But album opener ‘Falling Down’ has a thoughtfulness about it and even the two minute intro was originally on the end of the track, so it was essentially written backwards! The instrumentation throughout the track compliments the lyrics, especially the rolling guitar melodies which literally sound like they’re ‘Falling Down’. The overall track is quite repetitive, with the strummed guitars and the minimal drumming throughout to the point that it’s almost hypnotic.

Both ‘The Reel Starts Again (Man as Ostrich)’ and ‘Through Windows’ are piano based, even ballad like in ways. They’re still as dreamy, but much more lucid in comparison to the surrounding tracks such as fuzzy, grungy ‘Anytime’ which sits adrift in a hazy dream world between the two tracks. If anything this proves that Happyness are in fact, an incredibly versatile band to be able to put two seemingly contrasting styles together, and yet they work perfectly. I guess it proves a point that indeed, opposites do attract.

Bigger Glass Less Full’ is far more upbeat, lively and definitely has a fun feel to it. If anything, it’s the most energetic track on the album bringing life to something far more mellow. ‘Anna, Lisa Calls’ also has a brash feel to it. It’s upbeat with chugging guitars and as before, is also sandwiched between two much more relaxing tracks.

Returning to the lucidity once again, ‘The C is A B A G’ has a groovy feel to it which tapers off towards the end, making it far from concise, but is rather relaxing listen. Moving quickly towards the end of the album, ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’ is charming, a warm, even tender way to close the album.

As albums go, Happyness’ second album ‘Write In’ has a nonchalant, yet sure of itself attitude which makes it distinctive. Overall, it’s incredibly mellow and the soothing vocals throughout the album give ‘Write In’ a unique edge, yet keep the album consistent despite the changes in style over the first few tracks. ‘Falling Down’ was a particular stand out track for me, if anything a stroke of genius among the album and album closer ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’ is definitely a highlight. While ‘Write In’ is a substantial indie rock album which has clearly had a lot of thought put into it in an experimental manner, whilst showing off the diversity of the band’s writing styles.

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