VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Happy Lives, “Marry Me”

happy lives

Art Rock duo, Happy Lives  (Julian Beel & Mike Lande), make self-described stripped down “neo pop”. Though much of what they do is conceptually bare bones, the result is invariable addictive–an amalgam of lo-fi grit and musical complexity. Their newest single and accompanying video, “Marry Me”, follows suit with what they do best, with a slow, grungy bass lines anchoring the track throughout, minimalist electric guitar melodies, crashing drums and Lande’s dry, straightforward rap bringing the whole thing together like super glue.

The video focuses on Lande as he recites the track’s lyrics. Getting up close and personal with him in this manner sucks us into his psyche like a siren’s call. It appears as if he’s truly attempting to communicate something to his audience, adamantly and sincerely. I’m not sure quite what it is he’s conveying, however that’s part of the video’s mystery and charm, and keeps me pressing replay over and over again. Its overall simplicity, focus, and beguiling aesthetic puts it smack at the top of my best-of list for 2014.

See for yourselves her, via Youtube.

The band will be performing on 12/14 at Baby’s All Right.

TRACK REVIEW: Happy Lives “This Song Is Called I’m Dead”

HappyLives_PressWithin recent years, Brooklyn has been known to spawn some pretty over the top and deranged experimental acts, which invariably transcend the most esoteric of the borough’s neighborhoods and their myriad galleries and dive bars.

Happy Lives is no exception. To file them under “experimental” wouldn’t do any justice. There’s almost no consistency in the music they create, and no two songs sound the same, a feat most bands couldn’t fathom accomplishing. One minute they may go from a Nirvana-inspired alt- rock ( “Slacks and Slippers”), to a campy 50’s and 60’s ditty (“Feelin’ Right”). Audiences don’t seem to care though. Going by a number of the band’s videos on their YouTube channel, the music of Happy Lives is enough to get even the most blase of all hipsters dancing, or at least nodding their heads along to the beat.

“This Song Is Called I’m Dead” straddles the boundaries of electronica and experimental indie rock, and the sound the band produces with this track meshes together snippets of indie “neo pop”, and the result of much-fidgeting-with a digital sampler. It bounces back and forth from a crashy drum loop, which is in turn layered over creepily altered, child-like voices, and eventually a slowed down deep, melancholy vocal track accompanied by a whimsical bassline. It is at times grating and inaccessible, perhaps by design; however by the end you’re taken over by it, and left wanting. We can’t wait to see the direction in which these guys evolve sonically and creatively. In the meantime catch them live at a smattering of hip warehouse/art/DIY parties that you can stumble upon, tucked in the folds of Brooklyn, like tonight, for example. Until you see their exceptional live performance, listen to “This Song Is Called I’m Dead”, right here on audiofemme.

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