Happy People- HP-EP

Happy People- HP-EP

This Jersey Duo are remarkably familiar but difficult to place all the same. They use space, reverb, and tempo to come off very chillwave, but they don’t actually feel mellow; “No One Does Any Good” is actually a very tense sounding song, sounding more Sonic Youth than Neon Indian. Their sound is jangly and ethereal, which will make you rack your brain for about thirty different similar bands, but I still can’t think of someone they actually align with. This tug-and-pull duality gives HP-EP a very refreshing pop sound, with the EP serving as an interest magnet.

Happy People love to use tremolo strumming to give songs a more resonate feel, a big climax to the tunes. That’s not unlike old-school Interpol, which is far from a chillwave technique. However, despite the rich, unique sound, the production lacks much crispness, blurring the frequencies too much. I don’t think I’d have a complaint about the EP had the recording been better quality. That’s a testament to the musicianship here. There’s an elasticity to the melodies, akin to Grizzly Bear (and “Triplets” sounds very much like Grizzly Bear, but only that song), which means there’s not instant gratification in them, but there are hooks to be had–and that’s usually more rewarding, anyway.

Happy People have a great sense of texture and restrained songcraft. “Brooklyn” is a dense ballad, sporting the EP’s best hook (the fuzzed-out tremolo middle section). In fact, the final pair of tracks, “Triplets” and “Brooklyn” are the strongest efforts here, letting Happy People go out with a proverbial bang. With textures, dynamics, and melodies, aka The Big Three, pulled off very well, it’s safe to assume with some slicker production work and a full batch of LP songs, Happy People are going to be a worthy name in the indie community.