Album Review – Milk Floe by Happypills (2019) (Citrus City Records)
One of my pet hates is the usage of the term “criminally underrated”. This is because 1) it is included in approximately 29.34% of all reviews and 2) it is not a crime for a release not to have received the number of good reviews it deserves. It is merely a shame. This is definitely the case with this solo project by Japan’s, Yuki Kondo.
Thankfully, as is very often the case, the brilliant Citrus City Records cassette label have re-released this and given it the extra ‘physical’ love it so richly deserves and bought it to the attention of bloggy types like me, who to our shame and chagrin (it’s almost ‘criminal’ don’t you know…) missed it on it’s initial digital release in May 2019.
There is a lot to have missed out on, for so long. Initially the best of the album is seen in Milk Floe, Maldive, Swimming, and Starship which takes the very sweetest end of the latest 17 Years Old and Berlin Wall style fuzz-pop and makes it even more cherished with accentuated jangled riffs. It is inimitably South East asian in texture and infinitely beautiful.
Such sweetness never really subsides throughout the course of the album, but a much needed sense of grit dilutes the saccharine in the almost post-punk style chunky bass riffs of Laundry and the up-tempo accentuation of noise of Intermission and Moonbeam that hint at where Motorama might go when they concentrate on sound rather than bombast.
Happypills has released just one single since June 2019 (the obligatory lockdown track of Monsoon that was released in April 2020). Let’s hope there is something more coming out soon, now that I am well on top of the ‘follow button’.