Over the course of this site’s six year history, you’ve likely come across a number of posts on Brooklyn/Pittsburgh dance pop/experimental pop/funk act Superhuman Happiness. With the release of their long-awaited 2014 full-length debut Hands, the act led by co-founders Stuart Bogie (vocals, saxophones, synths) and Eric Biondo (vocals, trump, synths, percussion) emerged on the national scene for a sound that draws from Talking Heads, Antibalas (which, both founding members and several members of their rotating cast of collaborators have been members of), Fela Kuti, synth pop, dance music, New Wave, and others, and for an ebullient and mischievous live show that incorporates elements of jazz-like improvisation, surrealist comedy, performance art and infectious joy. Interestingly, since the release of Hands, the act has gone through a major lineup reshuffling that included the recruitment of Andrea Diaz (lead vocals, keyboards, percussion) along with the aforementioned rotating cast of collaborators featuring friends, former bandmates and other musicians from across the Northeast in completely reformatted project that has gone through a major (and decided) change in sonic direction as the material on Hands‘ follow up Escape Velocity incorporated an increasing use of synths and electronics while retaining many of the elements that first caught my attention, as well as that of the blogosphere — deep groove-filled material that’s whimsical, mischievous, joyous while continuing to thematically focus on profound topics. In the case of Escape Velocity, several songs focused on the fidelity and accuracy of one’s memories against nostalgia.
From what I understand, the members of Superhuman Happiness are currently working on yet another full-length effort but in the meantime, they’ve released their latest single “Powermasters,” which consists of boom-bap drum programming, fluttering and twinkling electronics, warm blasts of horn and a driving, dance floor-friendly hook – – and in some way, it sounds a bit like a subtle yet bumping modernization of their “GMYL”/”Hounds” 7 inch. Completing the single is a hauntingly gorgeous, atmospheric and mournful coda that begins with looping synths, subtly syncopated drumming and ends with a gorgeous string arrangement.
Superhuman Happiness / Arc Iris — 2016 Tour Dates
October 6 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
October 12 – Portland, ME – Empire
October 13 – Cambridge MA – Lizard Lounge
October 14 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
October 15 – Burlington, VT – Signal Kitchen