- 02 Jul 20
The group brought an acoustic version of their spacey indie-pop to the Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
In interviews, Cork alt-pop band Happyalone often say they’re aliens from the Andromeda galaxy. But on the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series, the group were, in a refreshing way, very much of this world. Strumming acoustic guitars on an ordinary brown couch, Baxter Robot and Slee brought the laid-back energy of a jam session to their spacey brand of indie-pop.
Happyalone reimagined their biggest hits within this stripped-down, acoustic sound. Fans know the studio version of ‘L U C I F E R’ for its echoey vocals and crisp Ableton live drums. On the stream, the song felt more like Bob Dylan than Aphex Twin, but the transformation was not unwelcome. Without effects, percussion, or even bass, the rawness of Baxter Robot’s voice came through, turning the track from a pop earworm into a tender ballad.
But Happyalone did not rest on their laurels — one of their strengths has always been their relentless forward motion. Within five months of the band’s formation, they had already released ‘Colours’, which now has more than one million plays on Spotify; and within a year, they had started their own label. It should come as no surprise that Happyalone have been writing new music during quarantine, and that they used the Y&E Series to share it with fans.
One new song used the image of a frog in a pond to satirise those who refuse to confront social issues. “What he doesn't think about makes him mad,” Baxter sang over a fat, hypnotic chord progression evocative of the Strokes. Another new track, titled ‘Letter to my Mental Health’, found Baxter in conversation with depression and anxiety. Even as he belted "letter to my mental health / I need some mental health," the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. At one point, Baxter forgot a line in the unreleased song, and his improvisation just felt like part of the jam.
Check out Happyalone’s performance, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, on Instagram below.
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Upcoming acts on the Y&E Series this week:
Thursday, 2 July: SYLK
Specialising in dark, industrial-tinged electro-pop, SYLK have built up an ever-growing following with their visually compelling live shows and DIY productions – marking the duo as one of Ireland’s most thrilling young acts.
Friday, 3 July: Áine
Embracing a soulful honesty in the tradition of Lana Del Rey and Marina, Áine’s music has resonated powerfully with her ever-growing fanbase. Following a series of ecstatically-received singles, she released her hotly anticipated Dislocated EP in September.
Saturday, 4 July: The Winter Passing
Emerging out of Dublin’s thriving DIY punk and hardcore scene, The Winter Passing have forged a reputation as one of the city’s most inventive indie/emo outfits. Originally formed by siblings Rob and Kate Flynn and guitarist Jamie Collison in their hometown of Tipperary, the band have become known for their fiery DIY ethos – pressing their own records and tapes, and booking their own shows across the world.
Sunday, 5 July: Roisin El Cherif
Irish-Palestinian singer Roisin El Cherif draws influence from Tracy Chapman, Stevie Nicks and Daughter to craft a sound that blurs the lines between folk, country and indie-pop. Following the release of her acclaimed Glass House EP in 2018, she returned this year with her moving new single ‘Cross Your Mind’.
Each live showcase will be broadcast live, to Ireland and the world, at 19:30 from the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine).