Every once in a while, a new band taking their baby steps into the world will release a song that cannot be compared. I mean this in the most literal of senses; in order to sell a band in the industry, it is essential that this band has to be ‘THE NEW 1975’ or ‘THE LOVE CHILD OF KANYE AND JORJA SMITH’ or ‘IF CHANCE THE RAPPER HAD BEEN BORN IN GRIMSBY’. Stylistically, ‘Siegfried’, the debut single from Leeds newcomers Happy People, sounds entirely singular.
Its sparkling production and heavy reliance on electronic instruments put an experimental spin on traditional pop song-writing, pushing the boundaries for what a pop song can be in today’s industry. The softly sung lyrics are now elegiac and lamenting, now belted, hurt and wounded. In their deliberate mystery lies a certain vulnerability that is instantly recognisable and relatable in each of us: the fear of letting one’s guard down to let in another.
This mystery is extended to the aesthetics of the single’s release. The video, created by fellow Leeds boy Happa, shows a rotating white mask onto which distorted and heavily edited clips are projected. The mask gives way to a mannequin towards the end of the video (the eponymous Siegfried, perhaps?), suggesting a progression from the feeling of being empty and alone to the actualisation of it, surrounded by noise but simultaneously isolated from it.
As to who Happy People are themselves, there is little available information. The press release reveals only that Happy People is fronted by ‘T.C. Young and Reemo’ and that ‘the fundamental essence of the project is detached, masked and fragmented, touching on issues such as anxiety, mental health and toxic masculinity.’ In an industry where ego and personality are a common sales technique, it is unusual and refreshing to alight upon a new band that rejects all of that, opting instead to let the music speak for itself.
‘Siegfried’ is out now on Treehouse Records, available on all platforms.