Waifish indie boys Peace return with the follow up to their 2013 debut, In Love. Similarly optimistic in title, Happy People is what the media would call the ‘difficult second’ album, yet Peace have managed to create something that feels easy and natural. The album, which juxtaposes unhappy lyrics with happy melody, is full of buoyant beats and joyful vibes: the trademark sound of the indie rock ‘n’ roll they are so insistent on keeping alive.
‘I’m just trying to change the world you live in’ croons surprise heartthrob of the last year, Harry Koisser, on opening track ‘O You’; an optimistic statement and one which this album probably won’t fulfil. Songs like ‘Gen Strange’ take you back to an era past and have you dancing around in a daydream haze, and the gorgeous ‘Money’ has you singing along like you’re part of the Brummie quartet yourself. A lot of indie rock is all guitars and bravado, but Happy People is more than that. It’s clever, coy and incredibly catchy. The mix of past and present grooves removes you from your current concept of indie rock and has you re-evaluate it, helping you find something far more exciting.
‘I wish I had perfect skin, I wish I was tall and thin, I wish I wore gorgeous clothes’ pleads Koisser on the iridescent ‘Perfect Skin’, and then there’s ‘I’m A Girl’ which simply oozes coolness. It’s bigger and bolder songs like these that really bring this album to your attention. Yes, there’s songs like title track ‘Happy People’ and ‘Under the Moon’which have you wishing the formula for this album was the same as it was for In Love but overall, Happy People feels like the album Peace should have been brave enough to make from the start.