Genre Wander: Happyness - Country Lips - Teen Daze - Juliana LaChance

Happyness - Falling Down.

Background - When Happyness first burst into the public conscience with 2013’s debut single It’s On You, their spirited take on US college rock was as big a surprise as it was an instant hit. The resulting full length, Weird Little Birthday, went on to feature in many of 2014’s End of Year album lists. Worldwide tours, an NME Award, a re-issue on the much-loved labels Moshi Moshi Recordings (Bar/None in US), and millions of Spotify plays later, it is with some anticipation that news of album number two begins to surface. Currently only two things remain certain: Spring 2017 will see the release of Weird Little Birthday’s successor, and today they share the first taste of what the album will sound like in the form of new single Falling Down.

Following news that their YALA club night headline show for The Maccabees’ Felix White sold out within two hours, the band also announce today their biggest London headline show to date: 28th April, The Dome, Tufnell Park. Tickets for the show will go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 23rd November, and be available from Rock Feedback.

Singer and guitarist Jon EE Allan shares a little about where the band are coming from with Falling Down, and it’s epic two-minute introduction. “One of many anti-overthinking songs. I think we thought it would be funny to trick people into thinking we’d turned into Interpol or something for about 15 seconds at the beginning of the record. I remember we were talking at the beginning of the recording sessions about Wizzard and Roxy Music and us maybe taking a leaf out of the whole glam rock thing, but getting it a bit wrong. Like children dressing up in their parents’ clothes or something - completely silly but very serious about it. I don’t think we ended up pushing that line of thought for the whole of this song, or even for THAT much of the album, but maybe a bit of it made it into the outro synths.” Facebook here.

'Falling Down' is the second song feature for Happyness on Beehive Candy, and once again I am impressed. I love the two minute layered intro that just builds into what is, a really fine, lazy feeling, alt rock number.


Country Lips - Grizzly Bear Billboard.

Background - Country Lips are pleased to share the video for 'Grizzly Bear Billboard', taken from their forthcoming album 'Till The Daylight Comes' out January 6th.

The band say: "'Grizzly Bear Billboard' is the kind of song that, without sadness or regret, remembers the Summer for the beauty that only comes from things that must, at some time, come to an end. In the video -- filmed at the Cowlitz County Fair in southwestern Washington -- director Coco Foto captures our trusty E350 touring shuttle and the genuine friendship and joy that has kept Country Lips together for the last seven years. Set among carnival rides, fun houses, midway lights, and the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo, we do what we do best and manage to stay out of trouble long enough to make a few lasting Summer memories."

Merging Backwoods-style blues with honky-tonk, boot-stomping rhythms, the 8-piece powerhouse known as Country Lips deliver a sound more associated with the wild, raucous West than the grit and grunge of America’s Emerald city. The spirit of unadulterated, whiskey-fuelled country rings true however, via a rollicking sonic presence and ramshackle charm – and they take their chances siding with musical outlaws like George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, and the Louvin Brothers over the homogenous sparkle of more chart-friendly players.

New album Till The Daylight Comes, recorded in Seattle and produced by Randall Dunn (Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Sunn O))), Cave Singers) is an ode to alcohol-ravaged, small-town romance, bringing to mind the destruction and debauchery that bopped and swirled around country-heavyweights like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. When playing live, it’s worth noting too, they have an absolute blast with the friendly warning that "in one set you’re likely to see five different lead singers, swapping soloists, all manner of hoots and harmonies, and (at least) one spilled beer." Facebook here.

With 'Grizzly Bear Billboard' Country Lips put a few genres in a blender and come up with a wonderful mix of country, blues and Americana vibes. Catchy, dance or stomp along music, with a timeless feel.


Teen Daze - Cycle.

Background - Themes For Dying Earth is the fifth LP from British Columbia-based artist Teen Daze (Jamison Isaak), and the first to be released through his new label, FLORA. Themes For Dying Earth is due February 10, 2017.

After last year’s foray into vibrant indie-pop, Themes finds Teen Daze returning to more ambient, electronic production with new insight: “I learned so much from the experience making Morning World, it would be a step backwards if I didn’t apply it.”  This comes through in songs like “Lost”, “Rising” and the first single, “Cycle”, which fuse the synthesized sound of early Teen Daze records with the live energy of his more recent works. Themes is also distinct in its collaborative nature. Jamison has worked with other artists in the past, but never to this degree and expanse: “Making the last record alongside other people helped me realize that inviting additional minds to the creative process brings out the best in me.“  Themes For Dying Earth also features collaborations with Sean Carey, Dustin Wong, Sound Of Ceres, Nadia Hulett, and Jon Anderson.

Conceptually and thematically, this album is one of Jamison’s most personal, navigating topics both intimate and broad: “Much of my work is inspired by nature, and it’s scary to think that future generations may not have that same relationship. The album starts with Cycle, a song about my personal experience dealing with anxiety and depression, and it slowly zooms out to cover some of the external forces, like climate change, that are affecting those experiences.  After touring last fall, I came home so cynical and worn out, I decided take all the nervous energy I had about the world, and filter it through more optimistic, positive sounds.“  Website here, Facebook here.

'Cycle' is a beautifully ambient and dreamy song, where melody and smooth vocals seemingly intertwine. If this is typical of the forthcoming album, then we are in for a good one.


Juliana LaChance - Thunder Dragon.

Background from Juliana - I'm a full time visual artist and I've constructed my own world for this project. Including the album art, music videos, and merchandise in addition to the music itself. I've created a new album called 'Thunder Dragon' and I wanted to share with you the title track and first single today.

Dragon' is a metaphor for my creative spirit animal. It's where I get all my inspiration and creative force from that hits me like thunder. It is a song honoring and paying tribute to the gods of creativity that flow through me. The song contains the essence of the album the creative driving force that inspires every aspect of my life. The album of 15 songs features the bandura - a folk harp that lends bass, and harmony to the warm dreamy melodies...used in a modern way.

The 'Thunder Dragon' video (my 40th video), was created on an island in the sun in Ontario. I directed it myself, It captures the essence of summer, and the feelings of the era of folk music that is still alive. Website here, Bandcamp here, & Facebook here.

The video for 'Thunder Dragon' is both a visual delight, and a terrific match for the song. The crisp sound and technical production gives away the fact this is a new song, however the artistic side really could be from way back, with a dreamy folk infused song. As a note of caution, don't nibble unidentified wild mushrooms...