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2014, what a year it’s been at Happy. A lot of songs made us smile, some challenged our minds, some made us feel pretty cool in the moment, others made us feel infinite,  but a lot also made us feel things we’d never felt before – we explored the uncharted in the name of musical discovery and it was mind blowing, to say the most*. Here at Happy we are all human beings capable of  displaying emotion and we can prove it- you know the security question that is like “Fill this out to prove you are not a robot” – yeah, we ace that every time.

thelma plum

Sad songs of 2014 that made Happy cry ( some staff probably won’t confess to that).

What I’m getting at is that as humans, different things make us cry – different themes and vibes can trigger memories that cause us to tear up. Just because a song doesn’t overtly present itself as sad, it can still be pretty sad – the sense of space and peace, the sonic reverb that drowns your sorrows, the heartfelt lyrics, or the beautifully melancholy vocals, all work together to create a place for sombre reflection. Some force you to cry, others are a bit more subtle in their intention – make you love sick, home sick or just plain sick.  If you are a volatile hot mess right now, you might want to retreat to a safe space. Unless crying in public is fine by you, then go ahead and lead by example and cry like you’ve never cried before, and show people that it is a sign of strength not weakness! Come at me introspection, it’s been a long time coming.

Thelma Plum – Young In Love

Brisbane’s singer-songwriter, Thelma Plum and her beautifully sweet vocals will break your heart every time. Young In Love off her EP Monsters, is a bluesy and hypnotic love song that provokes the idea that love is both full of fear and desire – it embodies uncertainty but one this is clear, its vulnerability leaves it on the brink of shattering, with the notion of ‘change’ a constant test of its strength.

Fractures – It’s Alright

Melbourne’s multi-instrumentalist, Fractures, earned Vid O’The Week a while back for the breathtaking and heartfelt music video for It’s Alright. Like a scene from a movie, this song fittingly fills the space of defeat with reassurance that this is zone of devastation is not the end, rather the beginning of rebuilding everything that was lost both physically  and emotionally. Mark Zito’s slow-burning vocals emanates sincerity  and respect for the destruction that has taken over.

Montaigne – I’m a Fantastic Wreck

Sydney’s sensational 19-year-old, Montaigne, and her single I’m a Fantastic Wreck  off her debut EP Life of Montaigne , is a beautifully tragic track which forces you to feel self destructive and worthless, but in the least intimidating and ironically most welcoming way – Montaigne’s unique and brilliantly quirky control of her vocals allows her to reach grand heights and lows, flawlessly . I hate myself right now thanks to this song, but I fucking love Montaigne because she is a talented woman to watch out for in 2015.

Montgomery – War Cry

With a voice that elevates you with its fragile body, singer-songwriter-producer Montgomery and her track, War Cry, is an early sign of her ability to create delicate melancholy music that commands adoration as complete indie electronic folk tracks, and yet is the perfect foundation for remixes, which take things to new levels. Technically, musically, lyrically, Montgomery ticks all the boxes with ease and finesse.

Little May – Dust

Sydney’s indie folk/rock trio, Little May, and their track Dust , is all about awakening from the devastation that surrounds and finding hope to keep you going. It starts of with the dreamy harmonies of the girls and continues to gain momentum throughout, with moments of explosion that are simply spellbinding- full of the intricate and relentless guitar lines signature to Little May. The music video is glorious and is powerful in its message of celebrating life, but always being conscious and prepared for its inevitable departure.

Owen Rabbit – Violence and Degradation

Melbourne’s multi-instrumentalist and producer, Owen Rabbit, is known for his exciting and highly experimental electronica. On first listen you might not think much of the track Violence and Degradation– seemingly emotionless spoken word, and some basic electronic samples – but seriously you just need to wait for it. The build up is slow but once the pre-chorus hits you, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the deep honesty and dejected feelings that reveals itself in this heavily burdened song.

Jasia – Safety

The dark rock vibes of Safety from Melbourne’s electro/dream pop maestro, Jasia, is chilling as much as it is dreamy. The samples of sirens in amongst the ethereal soundscape founded on synths is a reminder of lurking danger in this bubble of ‘safety’. Jasia’s digitally treated and whispery vocals feel like he is haunted by this is wintery ghost – so alluring.

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Hollow States – Darkness Is Laughing

Sydney’s Hollow States and their moody alternative pop sound will trap you with its brooding and depressing themes. The title track of their debut EP Darkness Is Laughing and its slow tempo, is an exemplary expression of the emptiness that Hollow States may cause within you. Menacing and threatening, some could say it’s enough to make you cry if it succeeds in triggering a less fond memory from your past.

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So did you cry? Did you feel dem feels? Did you even wince or shed the smallest tear? Perhaps you laughed or smiled because that’s how you react to songs of this nature…**

* Idiom game is strong

** Maybe it’s just you Jen… yeah it’s just you.

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THELMA PLUM FRACTURES MONTAIGNE MONTGOMERY  LITTLE MAY OWEN RABBIT JASIA HOLLOW STATES

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December 18, 2014