London-based trio Happyness combined dreamy indie rock melodies that took inspiration from '90s indie outfits such as Sparklehorse and Pavement, while intertwining purposeful, wry, 21st century humor to their brooding songs.
Having known each other throughout their teens -- they had been in various other bands before they formed Happyness -- singer/guitarist Benji Compston, singer/bassist Jonny Allan, and drummer Ash Cooper found themselves together writing music in a studio under railway arches in Bermondsey, South London. After performances under a few different monikers, the three-piece finally settled on Happyness, and set about touring the U.K. They were soon picked up by indie label Weird Smiling and entered the studio soon after to record their debut album, Weird Little Birthday. Released in 2014, the album featured backing vocals from Saffron Le Bon, and included the single, "Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same." In 2015, Weird Little Birthday was re-released in the United States on Bar/None Records. The following year, the five-track EP Tunnel Vision on Your Part previewed the more consistently reflective tone (and two songs) from their self-produced sophomore LP, Write In, which arrived in 2017 via Bar/None and Moshi Moshi. ~ Scott Kerr, Rovi