If you’ve been frequenting JOVM since its beginnings over 5 years ago, you’d probably be intimately familiar with the (mostly) Brooklyn-based funk collective Superhuman Happiness. Their long-awaited full-length debut, Hands was one of my favorite albums last year; however, over the past year the collective has gone through a major lineup change, seemingly due to both creative and financial necessity. As you can imagine, over the years of running this site, I’ve talked to a countless musicians within a wild variety of genres privately and off the record, as well as publicly and on the record, and they’ve admitted that as a band gets larger, that it becomes increasingly difficult for that act to make a living off their work — and it’s already difficult to make a living in the first place. So naturally, within a large collective, it creates a vicious creative cycle in which its members often find themselves spending much more time in other projects — to the point that either the primary project languishes in a state of limbo or the primary project continues with overhauls in its lineup.
With Superhuman Happiness, the only remaining members of the original lineup are its co-founders Stuart Bogie and Eric Biondo. Andrea Diaz (vocals, keyboards, percussion) and Sam Levin (drums, vocals) were recruited as replacements and as a quartet, the band has adopted a more electronic/synth-based sound while remaining as whimsical, funky and percussion as before. “Drawing Lines,” the latests single from the newly-constituted quartet’s forthcoming sophomore effort, Escape Velocity begins with an percussive introduction, followed by twinkling keyboards, wobbling bass, ambient and swirling synths and ethereal vocals with handclaps and horns punctuating the song’s bridge and last third or so. Sonically, the breezy and whimsical song seems to draw from The Talking Heads while subtly nodding towards African music.