Tag: Superhuman Happiness Escape Velocity

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.

 

The band is in the middle of a tour with Arc Iris that includes an October 6, 2016 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

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

New Video: Check Out The Trippy Matrix-Inspired Visuals for Field Music’s “Disappointed”

Comprised of its creative masterminds, sibling duo Peter and David Bewis and featuring the contributions Kev Dosdale, Andrew Lowther, Ian Black, Liz Corney, Andrew Moore, Damo Waters and a rotating cast of collaborators, Sunderland, UK-based indie electro […]

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few weeks, you may recall a post I wrote about the Sunderland, UK-based duo Field Music. Comprised of its creative masterminds, sibling duo Peter and David Brewis and featuring the contributions of Kev Dosdale, Andrew Lowther, Ian Black, Liz Corney, Andrew Moore, Damo Waters and a rotating casts of collaborators, the Brewis Brothers have developed an internationally recognized profile for a for a sound comprised of interwoven vocals, slightly off chords and chord changes, a slightly off-kilter yet approachable experimental pop sensibility — and for material based around incredibly catchy choruses.

Over the past few years, Field Music has been on hiatus as the Brewises were busy with a variety of side projects. But they found themselves inevitably drawn back to working together on their own songs. As David Brewis explained in press notes, “As much fun as we might have had on our own or collaborating, we missed just spending time in the studio, the two of us, trying things out and playing together.” Interestingly, Commontime. the first Field Music album in several years was written and recorded over spontaneous bursts over a six month period in their Wearside, UK-based studio. And the material the Brewis Brothers wrote was focused around them playing and singing — while featuring contributions from original keyboardist Andrew Moore, Peter Brewis’ wife Jennie Brewis, vocals from the newest member of the touring band, Liz Corney and a variety of other collaborators. “We wanted to embrace being a duo, and perversely, that made us feel more comfortable about all of those conspicuous cameos,” David Brewis notes.
Reportedly, the album’s material is reportedly based around the passing of time — acquaintances coming and going, friendships drifting and diffusing over time, random snippets of the every day and real-life conversations being replayed. In fact, Commontime’s first single “The Noisy Days Are Over,” was based on a conversation between two friends who are struggling to say goodbye to their boozy, hard-partying youthful days.  Sonically, the song paired funky guitar chords, propulsive percussion, dramatic keyboard chords and the Brewis brothers’ ironic yet wistful vocals with warm and soulful blasts of saxophone and strings in a song that reminds me both of Superhuman HappinessEscape Velocity (in particular, I think of “Drawing Lines” and “Super 8“) and of Talking Heads as all three are eccentric and expansive visions of what you can do with pop — while being approachable.

Commontime‘s latest single “Disappointed” begins with a David Bowie-like introduction of shimmering and soulful guitars and gentle drumming before turning into a bit of off-kilter funk with propulsive and hard hitting drums, a sinuous bass line, the Brewis Brothers’ ironically detached and yet wistful vocals, gorgeous piano keys and angular guitar chords; sonically, the song sounds as though the Brewis Brothers were drawing from fellow Englishman Tom Vek. Lyrically, the song focuses on an ambivalent and confusing relationship in which disappointment is bound to happen. Of course, interestingly enough, the song also suggests that disappointment may be part of the human condition; that all relationships have their disappointments — and it’s okay.

New Video: Field Music Muses on Aging and Being Cool in Video for “The Noisy Days Are Over”

Comprised of its creative masterminds, sibling duo Peter and David Brewis, along with the contributions of Kev Dosdale, Andrew Lowther, Ian Black, Liz Corney, Andrew Moore, Damo Waters and a rotating casts of collaborators, the Sunderland, […]

New Video: Superhuman Happiness’ Playful Yet Wistfully Nostalgic Video for “Super 8”

Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM since its inception 5 years ago, you’d be familiar with the Brooklyn-based dance pop/funk Superhuman Happiness. Their long-awaited full-length debut, Hands was one of my favorite albums released last year and as […]