Happyness are a three piece of 90′s inspired college rock that came out of nowhere to knock my socks off. Happyness are out of the UK and their album reminds me of Pavement with their quirky lyrics, Grandaddy with the lo-fi delivery of the vocals and Summerteeth-era Wilco with some of the arrangements. I am sure others will hear other influences but for me; those are three tasty influence and they add up to a hell of a debut.
In the press release, Weird Little Birthday is presented as a debut record that’s “not quite a concept album about a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus Christ and eventually is driven insane with jealousy.” So you know you’re going to get some lyrics that are going to make you hit the “rewind button” to make sure you heard correctly. On the opening track; Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy) lead singer Benji Compston delivers this line, “I’m the motherfucking birthday boy/don’t steal my thunder Baby Jesus,” which I guess could be construed as the chorus. It isn’t delivered with venom or vitriol but rather a defeated acceptance that sets the tone.
Naked Patients opens with the line, “There’s something so funny about a sick body and the things that it does that it shouldn’t do / there’s something so funny about you when you’re bloody, there’s something so funny about you.” Again, Compston’s delivery makes it sound like something Zach Braff would disarmingly say in one of his movies as opposed to being hateful.
I haven’t been overly enamored with many of the British acts that have been inspired by the 90s but these guys are different. Weird Little Birthday is a gem and we’ll all hopefully be hearing much more about them in the States soon enough. They have plans to head over here later this year, presumably for CMJ.
Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa
Happyness is here