New artist of the week: HappyAlone
Plus: songs you have to hear from Krystal Klear and Shookrah
Body talk: HappyAlone. Photograph: Nicholas O’Donnell
What: Ambient trip-pop trio
Why: Most bands these days are too self-aware to adopt nicknames or embrace an imaginary backstory. Not HappyAlone. The Cork trio are made up of Baxter Robot, Slee and Paperclip and claim to be from “Andromeda Galaxy”.
I’m not sure which part of Leeside that is, but there is a truth to the descriptor of HappyAlone’s music sounding like it is beamed in from a celestial place.
It started for the band with Colours, a song that sounds like a dusky country jam made by DJ Shadow, with enough colour and vision tacked on to it via its hazy vocals. The song ended up being championed by Spotify’s algorithm and placed as the most viral song in Ireland for a time on the Ireland Viral 50 playlist. This black magic was achieved independently and the band have since sold out a small Cork show.
All three musicians list themselves as “soundscape” artists alongside the usual guitar, vocals and keys, and the lack of drummer means they are free to create diversions in their songs.
The band’s latest, Bodybags, is built on a Burial meets Clubbed to Death beat with pleasingly autotuned vocals and stirring strings. It’s delightfully odd and full of lo-fi charm. Watch the stars.
HappyAlone play Dublin’s Bello Bar on June 14th
You have to hear this:
Krystal Klear – Neutron Dance
The song of the summer is a hotly-contested accolade, crowned by an unspoken agreement across cultural, national and societal divides. Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa’s One Kiss is looking like the pop song of the summer, but in dance circles, the clear winner across the dancefloor is Dublin’s own Dec Lennon, whose propulsive and jaunty electro-stomper has crowds across Europe singing its instrumental hook. Inspector Norse for the 2018 set.
Shookrah – Don’t Want to Doubt You
The Cork six-piece jazzy, soulful R&B group tackle the difficult topic of consent and attraction with their new single. Singer Senita Appiakorang asks her prospective lover to “respectfully woo me” while offering a practical guide to the appropriate levels of seduction: “Take a moment to get close to me now, but barely touching/ And stay patient enough to make me wanna make it, baby/ I like the way that you tease it out, don’t give up this pace,” she offers over a neo-soul prog-funk backing.