Happyness: FUV Live at CMJ 2014
Happyness, a savvy trio from London, mine the fuzzed-out, brusque beauty of '90s melodic rock. Not grunge, mind you, but the heady heights of Pavement, The Lemonheads, the Flaming Lips and Yo La Tengo, finding a very fresh spin on a familiar American imprint. Happyness will be joining Horse Thief, Son Little and Elle King for WFUV and The Alternate Side's CMJ Music Marathon showcase, FUV Live at CMJ, on Tuesday, October 21, at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City from 5-9pm.
The showcase, the very essence of FUV's mission of music discovery, will be broadcast live on 90.7FM WFUV, also streaming online. In addition, a 12-inch vinyl EP, featuring one song from each band, will be recorded and pressed at Rockwood Music Hall that night and given away to FUV listeners at the event. FUV Live at CMJ is supported by Squarespace.
The British rockers released their auspicious debut album, Weird Little Birthday, earlier this year in the UK to critical praise. The Guardian gushed over the album, declaring it a "low-key joy" and The Line of Best Fit applauded the band's "big ideas and big talent." The three friends—bassist Jonny Allan, vocalist/guitarist Benji Compston and drummer Ashley Cooper—are quick to cite influences like Wilco or Sparklehorse, but there's an appealing irreverence to what they've done as Happyness that feels utterly original. Hazed-out reveries like "Anything I Do Is All Right," "Pumpkin Noir" or the nearly nine-minute "Weird Little Birthday Girl," simmer and sigh restlessly, building a compelling bridge between punkish aplomb and very pretty, pensive melodies. They'll be touring with Avi Buffalo in the UK in October.
Happyness has some happy plans for their CMJ trip to New York late next month. "Benji's planning on taking us to Central Park Zoo to see the sea lions at either 11.30am, 2.00pm or 4.00pm which are their feeding times," says Jonny Allan. "I guess we can always fall back on comparing how one particular brand of fast food differs between countries."
They've also penciled in fellow musicians they want to see while roaming the Lower East Side and Brooklyn from show to show. "We're excited to see King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard," writes Allan. "Fitting seven members onto a small stage is always fun to watch."
Below, watch Happyness's video for "Anything I Do Is All Right" found on the band's new EP of the same name, out now in the States, and Weird Little Birthday.
FUV Live at CMJ is free to the public (first come, first served) and doors open at Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen Street, at 4:30pm.
Full line-up and set times:
5pm-5:40pm: Horse Thief
6pm-6:40pm: Elle King
7pm-7:40pm: Son Little
Funding for WFUV's ongoing coverage of live concerts and festivals comes from The Agnes Varis Trust, supporting affordable access to the arts, education and healthcare.