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London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock


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



"NME exclusive album stream"

http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-radar/exclusive-album-stream-happyness-weird-little-birthday - NME Magazine

"The Sunday Times Album review"

There is absolutely no reason not to fall in love with this debut album; and if you can come up with one, you're wrong. The London trio Happyness take their cue from 1990s American slacker rock and throw in some grunge for good measure, carving out a sound that variously brings to mind Pavement, Sparklehorse, Eels - and even Pixies. For sheer fun, try the herky-jerky riffing of It's On You, or admire the scope, ambition and sheer quality of their songwriting on Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy), about someone who shares a birthday with the Son of God, and isn't best pleased: "I'm the motherfucking birthday boy/Don't steal my thunder, Baby Jesus" - The Sunday Times

"Uncut Album Review (8/10)"

Affectionate homage to the post-grunge era. Within only three songs, Happyness confirm how deeply they're indebted to mid-90's US college rock. "Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy"'s vocals - and conspicuous reference to "motorcycle gas tanks' - willfully mimic Sparklehorse's debut single, "Spirit Ditch", and the muted sentimentality of "Naked Patients" could hardly be more Yo La Tengo (whose former producer, Adam Lasus, mixed the South London trio's debut). Recent single 'Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same" meanwhile recalls a less mischievous Pavement, and such influences are transparent throughout. Deft lyrical touches and a persuasive commitment nonetheless lift Happyness well above pastiche.

By Wyndham Wallace - Uncut Magazine

"Q Magazine Album Review (4/5)"

Happyness' debut is something of a concept album, channeling the inner monologue of a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus and is gradually driven insane with jealousy. Despite coming from South London, the trio's accents - vocal and musical - are American. With its psych-pop melodies, lazy guitars and semi-spoken vocals,...Little Birthday recalls prime Pavement, Flaming Lips at their most radio-friendly and MGMT before they lost the plot. It's crammed with half-forgotten childhood detail, such as bubblegum turning your tongue orange, carving Hallowe'en lanterns and enjoying being sick. And it's difficult not to warm to any record that quotes Prefab Sprout's Cars and Girls in one breath and uses the word 'phlebotomist' in the next.

By Simon Price - Q Magazine

"Album review in The Guardian (4/5)"

If it hasn't been exactly a tidal wave, then there's at least been a ripple of a revival in early 90s US slacker rock in the UK over the last few years, with the likes of Mazes and Yuck. They're followed by the London trio Happyness, whose debut is a low-key joy. Weird Little Birthday is beautifully recorded, and everything sounds in the right place, delivering exactly what it needs to: it has a humid, enervated air, like a too-long afternoon in the park with too many bottles of wine. The half-whispered vocals are placed high enough in the mix that the quirks of the lyrics are evident – "I see people come in twos, just like breasts do" or "Remember when we broke into the park and you got laid and I watched and you said that was fine." All of which would be so much detail if the songs were nothing to shout about, but Happyness switch effortlessly between fuzzy pop and downcast, desolate ballads, alternately thrilling and charming. - The Guardian

"Stereogum - Band To Watch: "One of the finest new bands on the face of this earth""

Happiness is a great feeling; Happyness is a great band. The South London trio specializes in lush-yet-breezy indie rock that conjures all sorts of wistful feelings then takes the piss out of them with wry puns and punchlines. Think of it as Sparklehorse’s mournful dream-pop pocket symphonies infused with Pavement’s winking ironic sensibility, or Yo La Tengo if their public sense of humor seeped into their records more often. It’s gorgeous, gregarious stuff, music that immediately ingratiates itself but continues to reveal new layers of beauty with time.

Debut album Weird Little Birthday, due out next week on the heels of January’s fine self-titled EP, positions Happyness as one of the finest new bands on the face of this Earth. The artistry of the music they’re making would be reason enough to familiarize yourself; be it the splendor of a twilight landscape, the intimacy of a night huddled on the couch in front of the TV, or the awkward energy of being an introvert at a buzzing party, Happyness can capture it with effortless grace. But when you notice that opening song “Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)” includes the lyric “I’m the motherfucking birthday boy/ Don’t steal my thunder, baby Jesus,” that’s when you realize this is a special band.

Singer-guitarist Benji Compston, bassist Jonny Allan, and drummer Ash Cooper spoke by Skype recently about laughing at yourself before other people do, growing out of their Libertines phase, and their general obliviousness with regard to Will Smith. - Stereogum

"NME Album Review (8/10)"

London trio Happyness might have adapted their sonic template from American college/indie rock bands like Pavement, Rilo Kiley and Sparklehorse, but the wit and lyrical context of their music is all British. Songs on this impressive debut album are lovely but droll; equally capable of making you feel fuzzy and anxious. “There’s something funny about a sick body and the things that it does that it shouldn’t do,” begins ‘Naked Patients’ and ‘Orange Luz’ has an equally diverting opening: “You are so ugly when you’re smiling.” They’re dry and clever, taking inspiration from the weird and disturbing left turns in the writing of Cormac McCarthy to create songs that somehow express a deep sense of youthful ennui. “My TV dinner is almost done,” sings frontman Benji Compston blankly in ‘Pumpkin Noir’, which sounds more ‘Loaded’-era Velvet Underground than slacker, “Going to a club in an unfriendly part of town.” Ultra-lo-fi, but an album nonetheless stuffed full of rich melodies and arch lyrical observations.

Read more at http://www.nme.com/reviews/various-artists/15384#tOgywTXYKjQHumsc.99 - NME Magazine

"NME Radar Buzz Band of the Week (Week of January 27th Issue)"

South London's Happyness are keen to banish your winter blues with a warm and mellow slice of '90's nostalgia. Their eponymous debut EP has already gathered praise for uplifting cuts like the infectious "It's On You". A love for acts like Yo La Tengo and Wilco is their driving force. - NME

"Interview with Quip Magazine"

Happyness are a friendly trio from South London. Full of cheek and becoming irreverent, Jonny Allan, Benji Compston, and Ashley Cooper’s bright wit made them effortless to talk to. The band released their self-titled EP on January 6 after years of playing around London under different names. Their beginnings, John DeLorean, and Wilco’s iconic towers were just a few of the ramblings touched upon when catching up with Happyness.

Ashley Kolpak: How did you get started?

Benji Compston: We’ve been playing in bands for a while and have known each other for some time too. Around a year ago it got to a point where we were all writing similar music. At first we were very do-it-ourselves. Around this time last year, we had 20 to 25 songs that sounded great, but at the same time we were a little bit industry shy. We were enjoying being a band, our friends and family thought we spent a lot of time doing nothing, pretending to be in a band just to get laid or doing something bleary-eyed.

AK: How does London shape or inspire your music?

BC: Musicians like Ed Harcourt, he’s a big inspiration. Talk Talk… lots of musicians influence us.

Jonny Allan: Whether it’s intentional or not, it’s influenced our writing. It’s not necessarily the positive aspects. Feeling disillusioned with the city, it’s easy to get a little bit lost there. It’s the same in Chicago. We’re tiny. When you’re a small band there is a lot of high-profile stuff going on. We spend so much time doing it on our own. There’s such a musical heritage here. Also, we’re inspired by a lot of American bands with different sounds.

AK: Speaking of American bands, your EP has definite Wilco and Yo La Tengo subtleties. What draws you to these alt-country/pop bands?

AC: We watched [the Wilco documentary]“I am Trying to Break Your Heart.” It’s a very intimidating thing to watch when you are trying to make an album. It feels so effortless. The story of making an album, they get dropped, but they’re confident in what they’re doing to not worry what anyone else is thinking.

JA & BC: It makes a really big impact, the kind of way they go about things. It’s just reassured us that what we’re doing is cool and worth the time.

AK: Share with us some highlights from your recent tour and shows

AC: It was so brilliant! At one venue, we were something very, very different than the crowd was used to, which was more hard rocking. At one of our shows, there was slow dancing in the crowd! It’s a shame, the culture of slow dancing has gone out quite a bit. We should bring it back!

JA: It was really exciting to play live again. We all play different instruments when we’re playing live. There’s only the three of us, trying to figure out what’s going to sound best and who’s playing what. It all seems to come together.

AK: Now perhaps the obvious question… Happyness with a “y”?

BC: [replies in a slightly surly manner, accompanied by a cocked eyebrow] ’Cause happiness with an “I” was already taken?

AK: I deserve that. Who knows? It could be anything.

BC: We didn’t have a band name for a while and while we were recording, we never found one we were happy with. One night we were reading and the word happiness came up.

AC: We came up with a lot of names based on that, mostly through Googling it. (Natch).

AK: Big plans for the EP release?

AC: We’re going to Dublin for it! We’re playing a show that night. And then the next night we have to wear suits. The show is basically honoring John DeLorean!

AK: Any plans for the States/North America sometime soon?

JA: We’d love to come to the States! We’ve worked with Adam Lasus, we’re really inspired by him. We’ll coincide. We’re planning to have him mix some of our stuff.

Here’s to hoping the boys will bring slow dancing to North America one day, but in the meanwhile there’s Happyness’s self titled EP. - Quip Magazine

"Never Enough Notes EP Review"

As the New Year emerges from the wreckage of hangovers and yet more articles declaring the death, or at least the supposed unfashionable state of bands, Happyness have released an EP to make the non-believers think again. - See more at: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2014/01/happyness-ep-happyness-6th-january-weird-smiling/#sthash.T5G4mca9.dpuf
The South Londoners produced the self-titled EP in their loft – lovingly referred to as Jelly Boy Studios, although you wouldn’t think that was the case upon listening to it. Despite the help that they had with the EP - from Ed Harcourt who mixed it and Adam Lasus (PJ Harvey, Yo La Tengo) who did the mastering, no less – Happyness EP is a timely reminder that great bands are still emerging away from the unfriendly confines of the charts and mainstream press. Times change, but there are generations who grew up with indie, grunge and good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.

‘It’s On You’ harkens back to such times with opening cries of “ooh” and the lazy, yet strangely optimistic early 90’s lo-fi grunge guitar lines creating a sense of nostalgia. The bridge’s lyrics echo this point succinctly, “I can’t give it up/ what makes you think I’d want to anyway?” Despite the song’s uplifting manner, ‘It’s On You’ is a lazy, downbeat number that plods along at a dreary pace before ending a tad too soon.

Even more lackadaisical is ‘Orange Luz’, where the verses feature drums so static they're nearly static and vocals so elongated you’d be forgiven for thinking that the lead singer is yawning throughout his delivery. This time with organs and guitars coming together the listener is cradled into a lulled state of existence. Lovely.

If there is a song to showcase the band’s ability to entice you into their dreary world, then it is ‘Montreal Rock Band Somewhere’. With its gentle, simple melodies and warm chords it is music that you could rock a baby to sleep to.

With this EP Happyness demonstrate a maturity beyond their years, particularly with their understanding of how less can often mean more. Minimalistic and gentle, the EP caresses and soothes and we can’t wait to hear more material from the South London three-piece. While Happyness doesn’t quicken the heartbeat it does caress it and deliver a warm, fuzzy feeling inside - along with a middle finger to those heralding the death of guitar music.

8 out of 10

Give them a listen

- See more at: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2014/01/happyness-ep-happyness-6th-january-weird-smiling/#sthash.T5G4mca9.dpuf - Never Enough Notes

"Interview with The Fly Magazine"

“We’re very cold,” chant Happyness’ Jonny Allan, Benji Compston and Ashley Cooper, who are huddled together on a sofa. “I’ve bought some frozen sausages to keep up us warm this morning,” says Benji. “I feel a bit like them.”

As they shiver in their icy lounge, the South London trio’s bassist Jonny tells us the excuse he had come up with in case talking to us clashed with work. “I was just going to say that I have food poisoning, although I have been sick quite recently.”

“I could always give you food poisoning,” offers Benji. “I am a bit nervous about frying frozen sausages, because the outside is going to look quite crispy, but I am pretty sure the inside will be a frozen ball of pork.”

On record, Happyness are a far warmer proposition — smart and affable in a way that recalls the US college-rock class of 1990-something, the songs on their self-titled EP float by effortlessly with the lethargic feeling of balmy summery evenings.

“Ed Harcourt, who mixed the EP about a year ago, introduced us to Sparklehorse who we had never heard of,” says Benji of their influences, “so they became a really big influence. Then I guess bands like Yo La Tengo and Wilco we really love — a lot of American bands of that ilk I guess. It was really nice working with Adam Lasus — he mastered the EP — because he did some of the very early Yo La Tengo stuff and they are a very big deal to us.” - The Fly Magazine

"Line of Best Fit EP Review"

Lo-fi grunge is a style of music which can still be found in abundance among the youth of both the UK and the USA. There are too many bands pedaling the stuff to wave a stick at (even a really big one), and so it can be very difficult for any to really stand out from the crowd. However, appearing from this vast lo-fi mist is a band called Happyness. They hail from South London and consist of Jonny Allan, Benji Compston and Ashley Cooper. The trio have made the pretty big leap of self-producing their first release in the moth ridden landscape of their loft, aka Jelly Boy Studios, and luckily for us, the sound is brilliant.

Happyness are not only gathering fans on both sides of the pond, but are carving their own sound by using a mixture of richly saturated melodies and vocals with a glaze of lo-fi draped lovingly overhead. Kicking off the EP “It’s On You” bursts into life with distorted “ooh”s, bright guitar melodies and a wonderful sense of celebrated adolescence. Its opening lyrics, “Remember when we broke into the park and you got laid and I watched and you said that was fun?/You said you didn’t like the government or school, you’re so cool – you’re just like Robin Hood” holds a strong sense of childlike wonder towards a role model. It shows through the opening line’s heavy use of “and” the youth and naivety of the character, but simultaneously the songwriting prowess this band have despite their tender years – these guys are bona fide.

“Orange Luz” offers a much deeper sense of melancholy than its predecessor. The slow and relentless march of drums, smattered with hints of guitar, keys, organs and vocals offer something completely different to “It’s On You”. Its ghostly, hook laden sound gingerly repeats the line “Haven’t you heard?” until it culminates into a cinematic cacophony. “Lascascadas” and “Montreal Rock Band Somewhere” offer again a taste of something slower – “Lascascadas” is near enough instrumental, with a bass and drum lead drone hued with soft whispers of vocals scattered amongst the terrain, and “Montreal Rock Band Somewhere” is weighed down with heaves of pathos; the lyrics “Let’s call it a day, if not now when? / What do you do when you hate all your friends?” are slowly uttered amongst the slow rolling melody of the track.

All in all, it’s a massive success. Happyness have managed to separate themselves from the mass of grunge bands either side of the Atlantic and created an EP that holds heaps of promise. - Line of Best Fit

"NME EP Review"

‘Charming’ is a word you’ll hear a lot in conjunction with south London trio Happyness, who write the sort of woozy and almost exclusively American-influenced college rock that brims with the bravado and naivety of youth. This is demonstrated most vividly by the lyrics on ‘It’s On You’: (“I’m an anarchist, communist, feminist, phlebotomist... yeah, right”). They have musical talent to go with this charm, from the depressed surf-rock twang of ‘Lascascadas’ to the country-rock lushness of ‘Orange Luz’. It all amounts to something deliberately slight and timorous, but lovely nonetheless.
Read more at http://www.nme.com/reviews/various-artists/15017#DM7K7rwMvXLzTxlg.99 - NME


Still working on that hot first release.



Happyness are a 3 piece band from South London, formed of multi-instrumentalists Ash Cooper, Benji Compston and Jonny Allan.

 After forming in early 2013, the band would spend every Saturday night playing in a studio under a railway bridge in Bermondsey. In mid-2013, having written “most of an album” they rented out an unused church with the intention of setting up a studio and finishing the record there. The experience ended after less than a week with only one song tracked - they were driven out by “the bitter cold and an unconvinced congregation of the dead”.

 Relocating to their affectionately named “Jelly Boy Studios” (a converted ex-carpentry warehouse about an hour outside of London), the band self-produced their debut album and the songs that would become their debut EP.

 Before the recording sessions, the band had played a handful of shows under a variety of names (“something to put on the flyers”), but the name Happyness wasn’t used until November 2013, when the band started playing in the build up to the release of their eponymous EP – mixed by Ed Harcourt.

 The album – “Weird Little Birthday” - was mixed by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) and features Ed Harcourt singing on "Pumpkin Noir". They have made various attempts to spread the rumour that Jonny Allan is the forgotten son and heir to the Terry Richardson empire, but those have all failed pretty conclusively.

 Their approach to writing and recording music means that roles within the band are fairly fluid, but Jonny and Benji do lead vocals and Ash does drums.

The band will be translating their trademark brand of bracing, but literate, fuzzy alt rock to live audiences in the UK at various festivals in the UK over the summer, as well as on a UK tour throughout October, before taking their first steps to the USA in October, where they have been invited to play an in-store at Rough Trade NYC, as well as a Kanine/Slumberland event. 


Band Members