happyness

Lo-fi ‘college rock’ has been at the forefront of the ’90s revival for almost as long as the actual 1990s by now. Throw in a splash of ’60s psychedelia and late ’80s shoegaze, a fuzz pedal and a one-word band name (Splashh, Yuck, Childhood) and you’ve got a bona fide noughteens band. Happyness fit this mould quite tightly and yes, he does sound like a young Stephen Malkmus. However, all this ‘put-in-box’ing aside and it’s clear the South London trio have made a pretty good album. ‘Weird Little Birthdays’ oozes a woozy optimism that borderlines the euphoric.

It’s hard to imagine that the sun-drenched fuzz of ‘Orange Luz’ or the dreamy vocals of ‘Pumpkin Noir’ were born from the same place that shat out Old Kent Road. But then again, Ziggy Stardust was born in Brixton – and what? This hypnotic slice of haze could almost become sickly if it weren’t for the snide digs that are hidden beneath the gentle melodies (“You’re cheesy like you don’t know”). We all know that cheesy is the worst thing to be, only second to boring. Luckily, ‘Weird Little Birthdays’ avoids being both.

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