EP Review – Ego Test by The Happy Somethings (2022) (Self released)
Long time followers of the blog (thanks you three, he says with a self-deprecating humour which is bound to endear me to people) will know that we have also run the Subjangle label. It started quite by chance, just to get an EP by the Lost Ships out into the world. However, it somehow spiralled and now we have over 30 releases and have garnered a nice following.
In the 3.5 years of operation the label seems to have naturally gravitated towards the melodic end of the jangle-pop genre. Over the last 18 months the label has made a concerted effort to show more representation of the jangle-pop genre in all it’s various nuances, resulting in the forthcoming collaboration with Derbyshire’s, The Happy Somethings, that will be released at the end of July 2022.
Enigmatic to an alluring fault, even I do not know the actual names of this trio (all roster joining negotiations were done anonymously) they generally prefer to release their music, just for the love of adding happy music to the world, without all the fuss and headaches of the music industry. As such the only band pictures of them are dolls, which you may grow to love as much as I have.
Of course, after the grandeur of a build up that proclaims them as some sort of joyous musical martyrs, this Ego Test revels in a sense of world weary scepticism, that feels a tad darker than their there normal sardonic, social polemic .
Despite this, the initial track, New Life, is so very typically The Happy Somethings. Urging the listener to start afresh and giving them the enthusiasm to do so courtesy of jangly indie-pop rhythms that are delivered with a perfect sense of The Hannah Barberas style twee-pop deliberation and sense of jaunty.
However, uncharacteristically, the perky is then abated, at least from a lyrical perspective, as the the threesome opine upon the things that we should escape from in our ‘new life’. As such Ego Testicle grates capitalism and narcissm into the finest of pieces, declaring:
Money, money, money makes their worlds go round.
High risk bliss, fists full of pounds
but what goes up must come back down
and when the pennies drop they don’t make a sound.
Similarly the process of letting go from the normal word of greed and pressure is touched upon in Takes A Long Time as the sound moves towards the subtle, melancholic harmonies reminiscent of the Fine sound.
It takes a long time for the masks to fall,
for the coins to fall,
for the truth to call.
If the journey of change, heard in the first three tracks, feels like a rallying cry of hope that we can change ourselves on a personal level, then the slow burning closer of Hope, somewhat dashes the possibility with the words:
I wish I could just believe in God
but the world around me makes sure I just cannot.
Without proof and no evidence
hope is all we have to make sense of it all.
Is hope enough? At the very least, as is the case with a persons faith in their god, it is a bit vague and without actual “official validation”.
A typically overtly deep, but typically beautiful, from this fine act.