Happyness’ debut album Weird Little Birthday was laced with indie cred, tracks weaved from Sparklehorse, to Wilco, to Pavement and back again. Their follow up Write In sees the London three piece showcase their more “sophisticated” influences. The songwriting has developed and the band seems to be having less fun, but sound more content at the same time.
They lapse into balladry with The Reel Starts Again (Man As Ostrich), Through Windows and Victor Lazarro’s Heart, though maintain their slacker sound in doing so (think of those classy Super Furry Animals tracks where they echo The Beach Boys). There are glimpses of jazz/lounge with The C is A B A G, and Bigger Glass Less Full has a meander into the world of psych-rock.
Lovers of their debut will still find what they loved here, bookends Falling Down and Tunnel Vision On Your Part could have been pulled from the same sessions. And though people who wanted more of the same will probably be mildly disappointed, albeit in a “the battleship ran out of that wine I felt like” kind of way, there’s still plenty to enjoy on offer.
As a whole Write In services those lo-fi and indie sensibilities that are so important to so many, but it avoids the extremes of self-replication and overt departure from their debut. It is a follow up album from a band that has a wide music vocabulary and a seeming willingness to explore their whims.
Best enjoyed on a mild weekend afternoon whilst completing house chores, or when you get home from a night out and you’re not quite ready to go to bed yet.