Album Review: Happyness – ‘Write In’

Happyness have unleashed their third album Write In at the perfect time. The weather is on the turn for the better, festival season will be soon upon us and summer will begin. For those who don’t know, the south London trio play feel-good alt-rock that matches the season. Album opener ‘Falling Down’ is cool, calm and collected. It has The Verve written all over it, and the strings only add to that mid-nineties Britpop vibe. Don’t be fooled by the mournful vocals. This is a happy album from a band who love to be inventive with their songwriting.

The band’s earlier releases focus on their passion for American alt-rock, but on this occasion the band are pushing themselves to look beyond that scene. Second track ‘The Reel Starts Again’ carries on in the same vain, building intrigue. As third track ‘Anytime’ begins the pace increases and the album comes alive.

The band draws its influences from Roxy Music, The Beach Boys, Sonic Youth and Randy Newman. It’s a broad mix of styles and the band blend these influences superbly. ‘Through Windows’ is a song that showcases perfectly their love of Newman. The piano and deep vocals are almost an impersonation of the bespectacled songwriter.

The album cost £500 to make, with most of that going towards a multi-track recorder. It was recorded at the band’s Jelly Boy Studios and the results won’t disappoint. Jon EE Allan said: “The building’s being redeveloped at the end of the year, so this is the last record we’ll make there, which feels like the end of a chapter for us.”

This is a ground-breaking album for the band; it’s a new direction which fans of the band will be pleased with. They’ve managed to retain the cheeky pop characteristics that made debut album ‘Weird Little Birthday’ so good. The album has a west-coast charm that separates the songs from where they were recorded. Some people don’t like bands that look beyond their roots to write songs, but in this case it works very well.

The band are on tour now. See details here.

Words by David Chrzanowski @D_Chrzanowski


Favourite songs: ‘Falling Down’, ‘Anytime’ and ‘Victor Lazarro’s