One Happy Island

One Happy Island

 Watertown, Massachusetts, USA

Based in Boston, the brainiac capital of the world, One Happy Island makes bittersweet multi-instrumental DIY boy/girl indie-pop using ukuleles, a hollow-body guitar, a trumpet, tiny drum kit, and sometimes other stuff. We've made four EPs and an album, and have toured in both the UK and the US.


One Happy Island is Shannon, Meghan, and Brad, three friends who delight in defying pop music conventions. Their intricately constructed songs reach the stage via gleefully ramshackle performances, making expressive use of toys and arcane instruments and joyfully disregarding pre-existing conceptions of structure, instrumentation, and leadership. Some of them have made music in bands most of their lives. Some of them have made music in bands for less than six months. Everybody sings, everybody writes. Their best shows feel like rehearsals. They aspire to move, baffle, and reveal, but are also happy to entertain.

Formed in 2008, One Happy Island has recorded a series of cherished, limited-edition EPs, two seven-inch vinyl singles (including a recent split with acclaimed UK outfit Standard Fare), and one full-length album. Enjoying particular/peculiar success overseas, their recordings have been released by such beloved UK independent record labels as WeePOP! Records, Oddbox Records, and Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. They have just completed the recording of a new album, to be released this fall, which was performed entirely live in the studio without overdubs, headphones, or click-tracks. Just three people in a room making music.

“Bedroom pop at its loosest and sweetest.”
—Boston Metro

“If you’re not tempted to play it on repeat, you probably just
don’t get pop music in general.”

“The day’s biggest discovery [at NYC Popfest] was Boston’s One Happy Island, who had some really winning songs with lots of interesting instrumentation, including kazoo, glockenspiel and ukulele, which at one point was played a distortion pedal. (That was a first.)”

“So gloriously perfect.” —Scatterbrain

“Underneath the happy uke strumming and polite boy-girl
vocals, the lyrics add the sharpest reality bite.”
—Boston Globe

Influences include: the lucksmiths, beach boys, cub, jens lekman, lonnie donegan, new pornographers, the besties, rose melberg, camera obscura, acid house kings, squeeze, marine research, everly brothers, the monkees, old hillbilly and stringband music, caetano veloso, and bikini kill.


self-titled EP released 2007 (sold out)

pulaski park EP released on Weepop! Records (UK) in 2007 (sold out)

secret party that the other party doesn't know about on Weepop! Records (UK) in 2008 (CDs sold out, limited 7" record available)

rogue bat tour EP- self-released in 2009 (sold out)

maptacks- collection of the first 3 EPs, available through website. limited, numbered copies.

One Happy Island- self-titled full-length CD. Odd Box Records (UK), released July, 2010.

Standard Fare on One Happy Island- split 7" EP w/Standard Fare. Sheffield Phonographic Corporation (UK), released February 2011

Set List

We have about 25 original songs as of right now. We add one or two songs every week! Sets typically are 30 to 45 minutes, but we have played 2 hour sets as well. We are flexible!

As for covers, we do anything from Prince to Katrina & the Waves, to The Misfits, Lulu, Willie Nelson, Cub, The Kinks, The Archies, Left Banke, The Beach Boys, Merle Travis, ...we even performed five awkwardly received deconstructions at an Elvis Costello tribute show. They wanted to RAWK, we wanted to try something new.