Happyness

Write In

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Apr 11, 2017 Issue #60 - Father John Misty Bookmark and Share


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It's normal for precocious young talent to first emulate those who have inspired them to follow in their footsteps. On the London trio's 2015 debut Weird Little Birthday, Happyness' interpretations of golden era alternative "slacker" rock invited comparisons to the lo-fi liveliness of groups like Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Sparklehorse, and The American Analog Set. On Write In, the boys have taken up the slackno aside intendedtightening up the selection to 10 songs that articulate a honing of their astutely venerating translations.

For exampleand quite likely inadvertentlyalbum intro "Falling Down" sounds like an intersection of Bedhead and Galaxie 500. But most forward and here is the vintage piano rock à la Tobias Jesso Jr., with a hint of the open road elegance of Bob Seger's "Against the Wind," a feel most tangible on "The Reel Start Again (Man As Ostrich)" and "Through Windows."

Meanwhile, the vocal composites of Jonny Allan and Benji Compston hover over the tunes they've fashioned with the careful percussion of Ash Cooper, much in the manner of morning mist lingering over a field. Dare I say, an approximation of Elliott Smith's caressing hush is continuous. The beautifully lulling spell of this also takes shape in the elongations of soft rock jamming, leaving the lasting impression of their maturity and confidence.

The public attitude of this bunch has been decidedly loose and carefree since their emergence, an exterior which belies the clear dedication Happyness invests in their studio sessions. Write In is serious song crafting from a playful group. (www.facebook.com/happynessmusic/)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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