There is a sombre playfulness that you can find on Miike Snow’s second release, Happy To You. Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg have certainly come a long way since writing songs for the likes of Britney Spears and Madonna. On their sophomore album we see them carving out their own indie pop sound with fellow bandmate Andrew Wyatt. The final result is a triumphant return of familiar upbeat songs with a touch of delicateness for the Swedish/American trio.
Enter The Joker’s Lair kicks off proceedings, fusing synths and buoyant drums, sure to please fans of indie and synth pop. The album follows this like protocol with rolling drums and soaring synth parts, perhaps becoming old hat, but thankfully it works and does not tire too soon. In fact, each track progresses with new sounds and sensations added, giving the feeling of happily following the band down the rabbit hole, wondering what will come next. This is quite clear on Devil’s Work, which sports some familiar sounds but graciously welcomes the addition of horns and a dashing piano part, giving the track some muscles to flex with.
Another definitive highlight is The Wave, attributed to some superb crooning in the vocal department, which sways between the beats and bright melodies with ease. The same can be said for Bavarian #1 (Say You Will), a heartfelt proposition of love where you will find yourself whistling along with the band.
Despite its predominantly pretty arrangements, Miike Snow is able to produce some darker moments as well. Upon hearing Pretender, a story of a man examining himself and his flaws is exposed to the listener, whilst maintaining the upbeat and catchy hooks that keep this album grounded. Also fantastic in this song are the plucked violins featured in the second verse, giving the impression of spiders eerily creeping downwards towards an unsuspecting soul.
Happy To You will have no problem finding an audience, especially amongst fans of Gotye, Van She or Bag Raiders. There is even a hint of relation to French electric duo Air. While not exactly a game-changer in the arena of the ever popular electronic music genre, Happy To You embraces itself for what it is – a fun album to either bop along with or just as easily listen to while taking a relaxing bath.
Happy To You is an album best to be played on a Wednesday night, the perfect thing to help wind down after a long day and get ready for the coming weekend.