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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States | SELF

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"From the Midwest to the Southwest"

In its first trip to Texas, Iowa-based rock band happygolovely will be stopping in at 7 p.m. March 17 at The Stafford on Main Street in Bryan before traveling on to a label showcase at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin.
Playing a self-described "catchy pop-rock," the members of happygolovely are happy to be bringing the band's sound from the Midwest to the Lone Star State.
"SXSW was the start of this tour, [but] College Station was the first area I contacted," said lead guitarist Layne Sheetz. "We have built a nice relationship with [student radio station] KANM, and it is important for us to connect as much as possible in an area we have developed ties to."
From forming as an endeavor to write songs to two members' girlfriends for prom to playing a sold-out show at the House of Blues in Chicago, happygolovely has grown from a group of high school friends into an experienced band that's starting to catch many people's attention.
Blending piano, guitar and even a cello at times, the members of happygolovely cite a wide range of musicians from Green Day to David Bazan as being influential in the development of their sound.
"Our music is really a cultivation of our own individual influences ... and I think that these influences end up shining through the songs in very unique and great ways," said lead singer, guitarist and pianist Ben Garrett.
Currently, the band has one full-length album released, Tidal Waves and Hollow Graves. Ranging from soft and introspective in "Lose it All" to upbeat and driving in "The Fight is On!," Tidal Waves and Hollow Graves is an impressive first effort that highlights the depth of music that happygolovely plays.
The band has also given a special bonus to Aggie listeners, who can access happygolovely.bandcamp.com to download the song "44" from Tidal Waves and Hollow Graves for free.
happygolovely's interaction with College Station began last summer, when the band received airtime on student radio station KANM.
"Texas A&M in particular is pretty sweet because we charted really high on KANM in the early fall and have been in contact [with them] ever since," Layne said. "This show worked out well for an area we really wanted to get to."
Being students themselves, the members of the band have to balance the competing demands of schoolwork and music.
"[Being a student and musician] isn't something I'd recommend to someone without the drive and passion for their art – it's often frustrating and trying to have to be so ‘spread thin'," Garrett said.
Garrett also said, however, it has been very exciting to see the band develop as it has without its members being able to fully dedicate themselves to developing the music.
The strategy happygolovely has followed for building a fan base is simple, explained drummer and brother of the lead guitarist, Landon Sheetz.
"Basically, we've tried to [get our name out there] by simply playing as much as absolutely possible," he said.
The band's interesting name was decided upon in 2007 when its members sifted through old movie names to find a good title for their group. The 1951 musical starring Cesar Romero — also the namesake of the band's spring tour — and Vera-Ellen, Happy Go Lovely¸ was chosen for the band's name.
As its name seems to imply, happygolovely, while serious about the music, doesn't mind taking itself lightly. Layne Sheetz noted that the band's sense of humor is a big strength for them. Whether poking fun on stage at bassist Brent Scheil, who bares a slight resemblance to teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber, or throwing on a banana suit and running around the audience, the members of happygolovely feel that having a good time is a necessity to the band's continued success.
"We all get along. I don't think we'd be where we are if we weren't enjoying each other's company along the way," Layne said.
The happygolovely that will be rolling into College Station next week is one that is focused on refining its sound and appeal in order to continue building a fan base and spreading its music across the country.
"This is our first time in Texas," Garrett said. "We're extremely excited to be welcomed into the scene."
The band members said they love playing live, claiming it to be a major strength of the band. They are primed and ready to bring their sound to College Station.
The ever-concise Landon Sheetz summed up the excitement the band has for its upcoming visit to Aggieland.
"A big strength is our live show, so be ready, College Station," he said. - The Battalion (Texas A&M Student Newspaper)

"Singing of hope and love"

Lead guitarist, philanthropist, House of Blues opener, stand-in banana. At 21, University of Iowa senior Layne Sheetz has found the ability to morph his passion with his talent.

His band, happygolovely, is setting out to make beautiful music and help people along the way.

"Our main focus is to get the message of hope and love to people who don't hear it every day," Sheetz said.

While lyrics don't outwardly suggest any specific religious message, Sheetz notes that he and his band all identify themselves as Christian. Just don't call their music Christian rock.

"If we're going to be defined as a Christian band, we want to be a band that redefines Christian music," Sheetz said.

Happygolovely's ability to remain true to the members' beliefs makes Mike Sheetz, Layne Sheetz's father proud.

"They never lose sight of who they are and what they play for," he said. "I like that they include charity work, because it's neat — it keeps them level-headed and grounded. I'm so proud of them as a band, but I'm even more proud of them as people."

The elder Sheetz has reason to be proud.

Happygolovely was selected to open for Rooney and Hanson at the House of Blues in Chicago on Aug. 14 for a sold out crowd.

Layne Sheetz said everything was running behind before their performance, and the musicians hardly had time to take it all in but never felt out of place.

"I felt like I was doing what I wanted to do in a place I wanted to be — in a place I should be," Sheetz said. "It was humbling to hear screams for us followed by the screams for Hanson."

Living their message is important to the band members, and they actively support charities they're passionate about.

"We want to be the same people on and off stage," Sheetz said.

Happygolovely tried to do just that last weekend after its performance at the annual LifeLight Festival, where they hoped to encourage fans and concertgoers to take a one-mile walk with them.

The next day, Sheetz and the band hosted their first "Take The Walk" charity event for the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa.

The band was able to round up 200 participants and raised $200 in donations for Africa.

But Sheetz said happygolovely's opportunity to raise money for charity is only a small portion of what drives the members to perform.

Sheetz said one of the most rewarding things about playing in a band such as happygolovely is the opportunity he has to give music an honest and positive message.

Though it's hard to get everyone together when they are not on the road, Layne said, happygolovely functions because all the members are best friends.

"I hope we do something with it," said Landon Sheetz, Layne's brother and the group's drummer. "We're all just waiting to see where it takes us, we're passionate about music, and if something works out — by the grace of God — cool."

And the banana? Layne Sheetz moonlights as happygolovely's free-sticker distributing mascot when the appointed banana can't make the trip. - Hayley Bruce- Daily Iowan

"Cedar Rapids band sings inspirational music with pop"

As finals week winds down and the holiday fever heats up, one band incorporates religious sounds into its latest release - sans tinsel and mistletoe.

Cedar Rapids band happyGolovely will swing by Iowa City on Friday at 6 p.m. with opening guests the Anti and Cygnus Bell at the Picador, 330 E. Washington St. After playing together for a year and a half, the band has a new CD in its discography and inspirational pop-rock tones pouring out the speakers.

The group's genesis began with an accident of sorts when members Layne Sheetz and Ben Garrett composed a romantic tune for their girlfriends for the senior prom. From there, they were sucked into a musical storm and pulled in Landon Sheetz and Brent Scheil.

Religion has played an integral role in the evolution of the band. Their inspiration stems "first and foremost from God," Sheetz said. Not only does their music carry religious undertones, but the venues they play are typically churches and youth retreats in and around Cedar Rapids.

"That's definitely our biggest in, which is a blessing," Sheetz said, adding that because of the recent flood, some of the bigger music venues were wiped out.

Since the group formed, happyGolovely has worked hard on progressing its sound.

"[The members] started out as our guys making music and playing around with it, but now, they are so immersed in experimenting with different types of music and trying out different techniques," said Caitlin Cooper, a close friend of the musicians. "They've grown and learned so much in the past year."

As for the band's musical influences, she described it as a mingling between Augustana, Jack's Mannequin, and Rocket Summer, all the while keeping an original and unique style. The band plays off a pop-rock sound, and incorporates positive lyrics that carry a spiritual flavor.

HappyGolovely's first album, Love Divine, is a compilation of the sounds the band has been working intently at achieving, Sheetz said.

"When we were working on it this summer, after the flood, we were trying to find our sound," Sheetz said. "The whole CD takes you through the progression of that."

As the tracks progress, they weave together and culminate in the title song and last one on the album, "Love Divine." The band's intent is to use this final track as a point to spring forward from and plunge into a new album when they hit the studio to record again in June.

The show at the Picador on Friday night is only the second time that the band will play in Iowa City.

Cooper said happyGolovely's shows are always "high energy" and the band effortlessly engages audiences with its tenacious intensity.

"The music is so positive and uplifting," she said. "It touches you deeply."

- Rachael Lander- The Daily Iowan

"From Prom To Recording Studio"

By Rob Daniel
Three years ago, a group of four Cedar Rapids Jefferson High students recorded a song for their girlfriends just before prom.

On Friday night, the band, now known as happygolovely, will release its first compact disc in a party at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Cedar Rapids.

Guitarist Layne Stewart, a University of Iowa junior in English and theater, describes his band's sound as "more sophisticated pop rock" influenced by bands such as Coldplay and Reliant K and including a positive message. He said the album will be a chance to show off different types of pop music, including a 24-piece orchestra arrangement on two of the songs, "Forty-four" and "Restore Us."

"We tried to make a record that was very different," said Stewart, 20. "It's pretty much a variety, upbeat, soulful songs."

The band, which also includes vocalist/guitarist/pianist Ben Garrett, Brent Scheil on bass and Stewart's brother Landon, a Cedar Rapids Jefferson High junior, on drums, has been on the rise since that first recording in high school. Although three of them go to separate colleges, with Scheil at Kirkwood Community College and Garrett at North Central University in Minneapolis, they have played on. In September, happygolovely won the talent search at the Lifelight Festival in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Stewart and the rest of happygolovely will be releasing the album independently. They recorded it in Lincoln, Neb., after meeting with Jeff Frankenstein, the keyboardist for Christian rock band Newsboys. Frankenstein organized the orchestra arrangement in Nashville, Tenn., for two of the songs, Layne Stewart said.

Even with the Christian influences and having played at several churches and Christian festivals, Stewart said he does not label happygolovely as a Christian band.

"We feel like our purpose is bigger than just making music for Christians," he said.

Friday's CD release party will be open to the public free, with the CD available for purchase, Stewart said. - Iowa City Press Citizen

"hGl brings impact.."

Thanks so much for all you have done to make our New Years Eve Lock In a huge success. Over 60 students took part in what God had planned and great things happened! It is amazing how God brings things together and I look back at this whole thing and say thanks to what the Lord did!

HappyGoLovely came to do worship and a concert for TRANSPARENCY Student Outreaches New Years Lock in and it was a night we will soon not forget. If there is anyone looking for a band, you need to bring them in. They just do not do a good concert, but also have a heart of worship and include everyone in. It is not just the band and everyone else...BUT they are just instruments to be used by God to bring everyone in. Thanks again for all you do!

God sure came down that night and it was great to see. Over 25 came to the altar that night and the presence of God was there in a powerful way. We will surely have to do something again. I think we have made a connection that only God could bring. AMEN!

Pastor Craig Ellefsen
TRANSPARENCY Student Outreach
Baraboo, Wisconsin - Pastor Craig Ellefsen

"Review of Tidal Waves & Hollow Graves"

First let me say, I listened to ONLY this CD for an entire work week while traveling on the road for my sales job. This was my only music all week long. (This really is the only way new music should be experienced and enjoyed by the way.)

There is True Power here. Energy, The Word, Pain, Fire, Sunshine, Longing, Joy.
– All the Emotions abound.
I will not go into a song by song - play by play, but I will recommend some of my personal favorites:

lose it all - such a sincere crying out from someone whose obviously hit rock bottom (haven’t we all) Listen to the lyrics – you can actually hear the pain in Garrett’s voice when singing about Milwaukee – Awesome!

re-invent your name – Just a Haunting little tune – and like it.

44 – This is one of the real gems of this album. The sad piano, the violins the Excellent lyrical range - 44days ‘til the rain comes down again - this “hook” is infectious - it just leaves you wanting to hear it again and again, Then after the violins fade in there are bells, and orchestra – it’s truly beautiful. Again , listen to the lyrics – very open and remorseful.
– almost “Coldplay-ish” if that’s a word.

the fight is on – The Brothers Sheetz, really tear up the beat and rip the chords that rock in this one – Scheil does some hard rocking double time bass as well
– check out the Background vocals.

run (love will find a way) – very upbeat, and melodic. Nice Keyboards and drums – I like the lyrics as well – “Love will find a way, through this mess we’ve made” – Isn’t that the truth!

restore us – Another jewel of this album, - simply great, excellent lyrical content, - and again superb vocals by Garrett – he makes us really feel his emotions
– truly waiting and longing for restoration and purpose. More nice use of strings and orchestra.

Overall, you guys should be very proud of this album. Plus, I like that you are taking action with the sales of the CD to help the Haitian people – helping someone else is one of the most important things you can do.

For a truly freshman project, I have to say, I was just blown away. This music is beyond you in years, and to be honest, I did not think it would be this good. (shows you what you get for thinking huh ! )

Anyway, $10 for the CD and a portion of that goes to Haiti for relief – well that’s just a no brain-er. I can’t wait to see you in concert again, and to hear anything new for your follow up CD. Please put part of “44” on free download to share ( I think you’ll get a ton of hits)
Good Luck and God Bless.

Tim Leary

There is True Power here. - Timothy Leary


happygolovely are here to spread the message of love, but it’s not the typical campfire Kum Ba Yah songs you may be thinking of, so you can drop the Christian music stereotype right now. Since early 2007, the band has been delivering pop/rock tunes aimed at inspiring listeners, not preaching to them. Lead guitarist Layne Sheetz explains, “I’d say the biggest difference, what separates us from other Christian bands, is the fact that our ministry and our music is directed at non Christians.  For us, there is so much more in our hearts directed towards giving those who don’t know about God, or those who are just in a hard place, the chance to hear a positive message.  We don’t base our music on religion but on the love that we find in the world through Jesus and in others. “
The band’s debut full length, Tidal Waves and Hollow Graves, was released In December 2009. Recorded during the summer of ’09, happygolovely worked with producer Riley Friesen and engineer Andrew Stoner at CODA Record House in Lincoln, Nebraska. TWHG takes the listener on a ride of contemporary pop melodies, with honest and inspiring lyrics covering a variety of topics, styles, and emotions, helping showcase the band’s ability to connect with audiences of any age or musical taste. The 11-track album was self-released, but has already made some major noise from coast to coast, literally. Their second single, “London Fog,” hit radio on Adult Contemporary airwaves and debuted at #30 on the Independent AC/Hot 30 Radio Chart. Several stations in California and New York have thrown the single into their playlists, which has helped push the song further, which recently debuted at #91 on the AC Hot 100 Chart for the week of March 23, 2010 and climbed as high as #60 before the end of its run.
The band has also found success in competition, winning the 2009 Lifelight Festival Battle of Bands. The prize: a set in front of 10,000 music lovers at the actual Lifelight Fest in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Not too shabby, considering three of the four members of the band are still in their teens (Landon, 17; Ben, 18; Brent, 19; Layne, 20). The members are all currently enrolled in various schools, which has kept them off the road the last couple months. That will change later this spring as the band is ready to hit the road through the summer playing shows across the Midwest, most notably Bash On The Farm (Garner, Iowa), Higher Ground Music Festival (Minneapolis),and GMA’s Immerse (Nashville).  To check out what all the buzz is about, check out READYELLOWBRICK.COM for an exclusive download of the band’s single “London Fog.”
- Yellow Brick Magazine


Fear Control Digital EP- 9/1/09

Tidal Waves and Hollow Graves- 12/15/09
12/11/09- Record Release Show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Produced by Riley Friesen
Engineered by Andrew Stoner
Album Art by Ashley Adcox
Additional Instrumentation by Paul Zach, Riley Friesen, and Andrew Stoner
Recorded at CODA Record House Lincoln, Nebraska

String Arrangements by
Jeff Frankenstein
Strings Arranged in Nashville, Tennessee



<<< In an industry of look-a-likes, sound-a-likes, and shallow creativity, HAPPYGOLOVELY, is taking a confident leap towards creating artistic, catchy, and meaningful music that breaks the cliche mold. Expect energy, ruckus, and catchy indie-pop melodies from this Iowan outfit. >>>

On September 5, 2009 happygolovely won the Talent Search at Lifelight Festival in Sioux Falls, SD in front of a huge crowd and earned a trip to Nashville for a showcase for Word/Warner Bros Records

Feb 26, 2010 happygolovely's first radio single 'The Fight is On!' debuts on stations around the country. Backed by Shane Boyd, The Fight is On! is targeting the Christian Rock Top 20.

March 2010
happygolovely's second single 'London Fog' hits mainstream radio stations around the country. Backed by Bill Jerome, London Fog is targeting the Adult Contemporary Hot 100.

London Fog
Debut (March 5,2010) #30 Independent AC Hot 40 (STS)

Debut (March 23,2010) #91
AC Hot 100 (STS)

March 30,2010 #85 AC Hot 100 (STS)

April 9, 2010 #72 AC Hot 100 (STS) and #86

April 16, 2010 #70 AC Hot 100 (STS) and #79

May 5, 2010 #60 AC Hot 100 (STS)

June 23, 2010 With building momentum happygolovely releases its first music video Produced, Edited, and Directed by drummer Landon Sheetz and Papaya Productions
viewable here!

July 6, 2010 happygolovely begins a Nationwide (and Canadian) radio campaign with Tinderbox Music of Minneapolis, MN with London Fog, Lose it All, and Lift it Up being sent to over 300 college, high school, and community radio stations for airplay.

July 15, 2010 happygolovely becomes the first band to win two separate Sonicbids Talent Search by winning at Sonshine Festival in Minnesota and performing on Main Stage in front of a huge crowd.

August 14, 2010 happygolovely opens for HANSON and Rooney on the SHOUT IT OUT! Tour at a sold out House of Blues Chicago.

September 2010 happygolovely begins pushing songs for television spots on MTV, ESPN, and E!, etc.

hgl is taking on a full summer slate of festivals along with normal booked dates in 2010 starting with Agape Fest May 1st, traveling to Bash on the Farm in Garner Iowa, Lifest in Oshkosh Wisconsin, Sonshine in Minnesota, Spirit Midwest in Des Moines Iowa, Higher Ground in Winsted Minnesota, and ending at Lifelight September 5th.

In March of 2011 happygolovely had their first string of dates to the south, with dates in Iowa City, Des Moines, Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, College Station, and Austin on consecutive days. The tour concluded in Austin where happygolovely played the Dizzy Rooster as part of South By South West (SXSW) music festival.

In April of 2011 happygolovely's song 'Run' made its television debut on E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. 'Lead You Home' would follow soon after on The Real World. Since, several songs have found their way into America's favorite guilty pleasure television shows and continue to delight the ears of people around the globe with music available on iTunes, amazon, and all other major online sources.