Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Happyness delve into a whole new world of self-discovery on Floatr


Release date: 01 May 2020
30 April 2020, 09:14 Written by Amy Albinson
If the oft-used term ‘indie-rock’ were a circle previously drawn around London-based duo Happyness, then new album Floatr sees them unabashedly dancing around its edges.

After a near-3 year hiatus and the departure of band member Benji Compston, core musicians Jonny Allan and Ash Kenazi’s third full-length release pulls off a showstopping triumphant return, dripping in self-deprecating clever quips, jangling guitars and a new-found sense of self.

While comparisons to indie/alt-rock saints Pavement are likely to still abound, Happyness have come a long way from their self-released debut Weird Little Birthday. As drummer Ash Kenazi moves to co-front the band, the record documents his coming out and wholeheartedly embraces his drag persona. Setting the tone for an exploration of self discovery, the title track peppers hypotheticals, musing at its centre “maybe it'd be much better to be irreversibly changing endlessly”.

As a genre with its own underlying sense of cool, Happyness have taken their slacker rock sound and are carving out a new path for themselves in the ten track offering, one that this time around feels more introspective. Opening on a softly swaying acoustic number that recalls the lo-fi of their breakout record, the mood changes to introduce an orchestral build up of minimalist piano keys and spiralling theatrics.

Sometimes airy and confessional, and at other times explosive and discordant - cramming distorted guitar tones into staccato stretches - Floatr is, at its loudest, evocative of the gleeful, fever-dream intensities of Kevin Barnes’s of Montreal. Yet in this frenzy the record glows.

At its heart, a sense of growth exudes from self deprecation. With comedic quips in Allan’s 90’s-reminiscent half-whispered vocals such as "I get knocked up but I get down again" and “even as my head overreacts I know I’m barely something”, self-assurance is creeping back in. Finding their stride in slow-burner, and record highlight, “Anvil Bitch”, their confident experimentation embraces all they’ve learned in their previous two releases and sees the future open up.

As the band continue to explore the elements of shoegaze, jazz-melodies and saccharine pop at the edges of their well-worn indie-rock, Happyness find themselves back in top form and ready to reach out once more into a chaotic unknown.

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