Album Review: Happy Birthday

You wouldn’t know that Happy Birthday’s sound has just been born from listening to their self-titled debut. All the shows they’ve played to date, you can count on one hand but that’s about to change with their scheduled shows at SXSW and their upcoming US tour with none other than the Vivian Girls. Things are looking up for the rather shy Vermont trio.

Photo: Abby Banks

Happy Birthday is the story of Kyle Thomas who was a little scared to play his songs by himself. So after playing a show with Chris Weisman and Ruth Garbus they had so much fun that they decided to keep doing it and it’s a good thing they are as their self-titled debut is simply stunning. At every corner, it continues to surprise me with a shout exploring the many facets of the trio’s sound. “2 Shy” reaches the depths of 90’s grunge complete with its lonesome undertones. “Perverted Girl” shines with guitar riffs and solos the late Jay Reatard would be proud of and “Maxine the Teenage Eskimo” shimmers with delightful vocal harmonies composed of adorable lyrics. Happy Birthday spans Beach Boys surf harmonies to Black Sabbath-type ballads but somehow they effortlessly bring it all together. It is straightforward pop rock with the appeal of a d-i-y aesthetic.

[MP3] Happy Birthday – Girls FM

Happy Birthday’s self-titled debut is out March 26 on Sub Pop/Stomp.


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