I had yet to hear more than a few tracks from Happyness prior to catching them at theCulture Collide / Doc Martens SXSW shindig, or read the sterling reviews by other journalists more in the know. I only knew a few of bit of their music off of Spotify, and thus, had made a point to nail them into my mess of a schedule.
Having now had a chance, in the confines of a quiet room, alone with the newly re-release of Weird Little Birthday today, the lyrics behind tracks like “Montreal Rock Band Somewhere” and “Pumpkin Noir,” along with song titles “Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same” make me smile and swerve as I did on that rainy Austin day.
Lead singer (on bass, guitar, and keyboards at times) Jonny Allan seems to go into a trance as he croons, eyes closed, about being a “21st-century hand granade” or in anothr heartbeat, cranks out vintage garage punk rock blues on “Refrigerate Her.” Indeed, don’t let the dreamy vocals (“Baby Jesus, Jelly Boy”) and Benji Compston’s outer space guitar lines (“Orange Luz”) fool you, as irony is thrown to the wind when you peek under that lyrical hood.
And that is what makes Happyness so compelling and magnetic. The South London trio, including Ash Cooper on drums (can’t leave him out by any means), take the crowd through emotional twists and turns in their live shows (also caught them at the NME showcase at BME), and their love for what they do can’t help but be felt by the fans.
Happyness continue touring the states post-SXSW, making those long treks down U.S. highways, so if you missed them this past week in Austin or didn’t make it out to Sx, here’s your chance to catch them.
March 24 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive $
March 26 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Festival
March 29 – Santa Ana, CA – Burgerama 2015
March 30 – San Francisco, CA- Bottom of the Hill #
April 1 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
April 3 – Seattle, WA – The Sunset Tavern
April 4 – Missoula, MT – Stage 112
April 6 – St, Paul, MN – Turf Club
April 7 – Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s Oasis
April 8 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
April 9 – Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog East (Tickets available on day of show only)
April 10 – Middletown, CT -Wesleyan College (Tickets available on day of)
April 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
April 12- Manhattan, NY – Cake Shop
$ w/ Delicate Steve
# w/ White Fence, Twerps
*w/ Ezra Furman
Pick up Weird Little Birthday on Bar None Records in the US, on Moshi Moshi Records in UK/RoW, and on Magniph Records in Japan.