I'm a sad person a lot of the time, but there's a few songs out there that make me very happy indeed, and I'm going to share them with all you lovely readers here. They may not be your typical example of a "happy song," but they do make me smile at times when it feels like my facial muscles can't contort themselves into that shape.
First off, we have Japanese all girl math rock quartet tricot, purveyors of the most lovely, warm, technical, beautiful, comfy yet powerful math-pop-rock in existence, This is a track off both an EP and their debut record, T.H.E., and honestly picking just one song is a difficult task, but it's a more straightforward cut, my first introduction to the band, and it packs such a punch.
Staying in Japan for this next song, we have Japanese electro-metalcore warriors Crossfaith. Despite how that genre description might sound, they do have a grasp of how to write songs, and probably the best command of electronic instrumentation in the genre. Their signature defining characteristic is excitement however, and on a slightly underwhelming album, they gave us an exciting, ridiculous collaboration with Skindred's Benji Webbe, it's kinda like a metal David Guetta song, but a million times better than that sounds.
Yeah this is a very cliche pick, but you know what? Carly Rae Jepsen has somehow cracked the code to making the loveliest, comfiest synth pop out there somehow, it's no wonder she's struck such a chord with the infamously cynical heads over on /mu/.
Desiigner. Remember him? The weird ad-libs, "Panda" being featured on The Life Of Pablo, the XXL freshmen spot then him seemingly disappearing from view? Well in 2017 he appeared on this Mura Masa cut, a wonderful, summery jam blending trap, that tropical housey sound but it's not grating af n all the little details and textures throughout the tune, give it a spin folks it's a whopper tune.
Honest, heartfelt, and very Australian, it's Melbourne's The Smith Street Band. Here with this song we've got a massive, scrappy, loud punk rock banger with Will Wagner's rough but soaring vocals and a huge fucking riff oh my.
Pat The Bunny's a folk punk musician, he's had a rough aul go of things, homelessness, mental illness, severe substance abuse problems, yet as time went on his music got more hopeful, more fleshed out, and his band Ramshackle Glory delivered this wonderful song upon us. Its chorus says it all really, "your heart is a muscle the size of your fist, keep on loving, keep on fighting, and hold on, and hold on, hold on for your life." If any song here never fails to make me grin like an absolute gombeen every time I hear it it's this one. An ode to all the wonderful people in Pat's life that made him keep going on at his darkest points, as my good friend Aimee's said many times before "I love my friends!" n when I hear this song I think, I do love my friends, quite a bit.
This is a bit of an odd choice on the surface. The lyrics are Kevin going through the anxieties of living in America as a queer person of colour on the personal and wider societal level, not exactly stuff that should make one cheerful. Yet when the hook comes in, with the shimmering, bright instrumentation, the repeated refrain of "I don't care no more, I don't, I don't care no more", there's a tone of...self acceptance maybe, he's still aware of all the bullshit surrounding him, but he's almost at peace with it, he doesn't care anymore, and that is truly heartwarming stuff.
If I had to stand up and justify why I love guitar music so much, I wouldn't point to the typical "great British guitar bands" the NME will not shut the fuuuuuuuuck up about, or even "three chords and the truth" stuff, no, I'd pick this song. Marc Okubo is a rare figure in technically complex music in that he's obviously incredibly skilled not just in terms of musicianship and theory, but he can create this beautifully offbeat guitarwork that's tricky and fiendish but flows out so beautifully, that isn't just him mashing the fretboard to make weird squealy noises. Just listen to that opening.
Klaxons were a British band who brought a wild explosion of neon and rainbow colours to the British indie scene by blending wild, skronky post-punk with the rave music of the 80s and 90s, all topped off with a few ecstasy tablets and jagerbombs. Honestly pinning down exactly what it is about them is hard, I can stumble at an approximation but they're far too dense and layered for a simple "indie bits plus ravy bits wooo". Before indie bands embracing dance music led to some of the most annoying, dull shite, forgoing what makes both genres amazing in their own right, we had these three lads and an amazing album in Myths Of The Near Future, this song being a standout cut from it.
It's got one of the world's all time great vocalists in Daryl Palumbo on it. It sounds a bit new wave and I do love new wave. Its chorus is fucking massive. It's so cool and sophisticated yet so fun at the same, it sits in a similar spot to that Klaxons track yet it came a good 4 years before and its more finely honed blade than all out explosion.