Ever since the 1980s, Williamsburg has been the beating heart of New York’s art scene. The abandoned warehouses and industrial spaces around Bedford Avenue were the perfect venues for secret word of mouth gigs and wild experimental performances. Until, just like London’s Shoreditch, the thriving community caused rent to spiral up and up. The artists were forced out. Manhattan bankers swarmed in.
But there’s a happy ending to this familiarly sad tale because the community didn’t die. There’s still a stubborn music scene full of very ambitious and very talented bands trawling local bars and fighting it out for record deals.
Happy Lives is one such band. The Brooklyn based trio are quickly making a name for themselves with their rumbling drum samples, funky guitars and very, very catchy grooves. Regulars on the New York circuit, they alter their line up depending on the venue or how they’re feeling at the time. The result is a mutating live performance that is never the same twice.
Today’s Track of the day We’re so… takes on a 90s alt-rock sound. It’s unashamedly messy in places and you can hear the Nirvana influence from a mile away. Wailing electric guitars pierce the drums, add to the chaos and create a bipolar track that leaves you wanting more and wondering what’s coming next.
The vocals have that angry New York drawl that we’ve come to know and love whilst the chorus is simple and repetitive. The combination is a charmingly makeshift sound – as if everything has been thrown together at the last minute.
This DIY approach means that every song in their set list is different. From the Metronomy-esque Feeling Right to the heart attack inducing Brutus. The relaxed Prufus 2.1 to the heavy rock of Slacks and slippers. One day they might find a style and stick to it. Personally, I think the excitement will be hearing them get to it.