Weird Little Birthday

Released: 30th March 2014
Label: Moshi Moshi

London based three piece Happyness left a mark on me following their live performances at Green Man and Sŵn festival last year. I remembered them as a band who love what they do and who create songs with a very 90s sound to them, which is never a bad thing.

2014 saw the band self-release their debut album, tour the length and breadth of the country and sign to the legendary indie label Moshi Moshi who are now re-issuing their debut album Weird Little Birthday with four extra songs. Sharing a home with the likes of The Wave Pictures, Sweet Baboo, Teleman and Slow Club (many of the bands and artists that AMP loves) is sure to be a good thing for Happyness and will hopefully help their album get the success it deserves.

Weird Little Birthday is described as being “not quite a concept album about a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus Christ and is eventually driven insane with jealousy”. That theme is captured within the lyrics “I’m the mother fucking birthday boy / Don’t steal my thunder baby Jesus” in the dreamy opening track ‘Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)’. ‘Naked Patients’ will see you swaying from side to side with its infectious melodies and laid back vocals. ‘Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same’ makes you think you have jumped in a time machine and landed back in the glorious 90s; this really is that good with its grunge-like pop sound that will have you playing this song over and over again.

Further highlights on this great album include ‘Pumpkin Noir’ which is a moment of real beauty. As with so many of the songs on this album, the hushed vocals sit perfectly in the mix allowing the listener to drift away, deep in their thoughts with the lyrics “My TV dinner’s almost done / Going to a club in an unfriendly part of town”. ‘Anything I Do Is All Right’ demonstrates that the band can do loud and fast equally as well as quiet and slow. ‘Weird Little Birthday Girl’ is so hypnotic that by the time this nine minute song comes to an end you will have completely forgotten whatever it is you were meant to be doing. ‘It’s On You’, as far as pop music goes, is simply perfect.

I could honestly list every song on this album as a highlight. For someone who has so much bias towards music made in the 90s it is really good to hear a band that manages to capture the mood and vibe of that time and, in so doing, have created an album that really stands out from the crowd and deserves to be a popular and critical success.

Steve Tay

Erlend Øye

Released: 24th Nov 2014
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