HAPPYNESS – ” Weird Little Birthday ” Best Albums Of 2014

Posted: March 4, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

2014Happyness_WeirdLittleBirthday_130614

Ultra-lo-fi, but Happyness’ ‘Weird Little Birthday’ is nonetheless stuffed full of rich melodies and arch lyrical observations. The band Happyness are a 3 piece band from South London, formed of multi-instrumentalists Ash Cooper, Benji Compston and Jonny Allan. After forming in early 1973, the band went on hiatus pending their births and the sufficient progress of the affordable digital audio interface market. Regrouping in 2013, the band spent Saturday nights playing under a railway bridge in Bermondsey. By mid-2013, having written “most of an album” they rented out an unused church with the intention of setting up a studio and finishing the record there. That ended after less than a week with only one song tracked – they were driven out by “the bitter cold and an unconvinced congregation of the dead”. (Unintentionally significantly the song was “Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)”).


Relocating to their affectionately named “Jelly Boy Studios” (a one-time carpentry warehouse and butterfly commune an hour or so outside of London), the band self-produced their debut album and the songs that would become their debut EP.
Before the recording sessions, the band had played a handful of shows under a variety of names (“something to put on the flyers”), but the name Happyness wasn’t used until November 2013, when the band started playing live in the build up to the release of their eponymous EP – mixed by Ed Harcourt.

The album – “Weird Little Birthday” – was mixed by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) and features Ed Harcourt singing on “Pumpkin Noir” and was released to great acclaim in the UK in the Summer of 2014. They have made various attempts to spread the rumour that Jonny Allan is the forgotten son and heir to the Terry Richardson empire, but those have all failed pretty conclusively. Their approach to writing and recording music means that roles within the band are fairly fluid, but Jonny Allan and Benji Compston do lead vocals and Ash Cooper does drums.

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