Happyness - Write In

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2017-04-07

Actually, there’s not much needed for true happiness or in this case, ‘happyness’ . As far as music is concerned, it doesn’t really matter if your influences show, but whether you treat them well and add at least a little emotional attachment. Something in the form of your personal touch would be an added bonus.

London trio Happyness positively tick all of the above-mentioned ‘boxes’ on their sophomore album “Write In”. Yes, they do wear their influences on their sleeves - all of those mentioned by various reviewers - Sonic Youth, The Beach Boys, Nick Drake, Velvet Underground, The Byrds, Sparklehorse, Wilco, Teenage Fanclub (in particular) and a few others. I would also say Pavement and Sarah Records (in spirit mainly).

But is “Write In” just a concoction of haphazardly thrown together style exercises or a cohesive musical statement by a band going under the name Happyness. The latter. Can you sense and guess their inspirations? Yes. Is it any good? That too. You see, Happyness have a good caring relationship with their influences and try to make them their own, having quite a success at that.

The opener “Flying Down” serves as a perfect, well, opener, giving exactly the tone of what Happyness intended to present here - things ‘gently’ falling apart at the seams, but that you don’t have to feel bad about it. “The Reel Start Again” introduces great harmonies that come and go throughout the album, while with “Anytime” you can get the idea why Uncut commented on their first album “Weird Little Birthday” as an “Affectionate homage to the post-Grunge era”.

As the album progresses, so do Happyness, peeling away at the ‘slacker’ label somebody stuck on them. Yes, songs like “Through Windows” process at a slower pace and most have that self-effacing attitude somebody mentioned, but the bands do add their touch coming up with tunes which, all, make you happy.

By the time you reach closers in “The C Is a B A G” and “Tunnel Vision On Your Part”, Happyness have managed to transform all those influences mentioned into something of their own and show that “Write In” is a step in the right direction. More and even better is expected.

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